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ways highly interesting at the time of receiving them; but their permanent value consists in the light they throw upon the field of missionary enterprise; and they can be made subservient to this end, only so far as they afford original information or convey the matured results of experience. We are almost ready to envy, however, the simplicity of feeling and ardent piety expressed in the following letter, notwithstanding the almost Romish easiness of faith which it betrays.
«« I have now spent four days in the city where David lived and reigned, and where David's Lord and King redeemed the world. The house I inhabit, stands on mount Calvary. My little room has but one small window, and this opens towards mount Olivet. I have walked around Zion. I have walked over Calvary. I have passed through the valley of Hinnom, drunk of the waters of Siloam, crossed the brook Cedron, and have been in the garden of Gethsemane. The next day after my arrival, I made my first visit to the tomb of my
Lord. I did not stop to inquire, whether the place pointed out as his sepulchre, is really such or not. If in this there is any delusion, I was willing to be deceived for the moment. The church was full of people, but, though surrounded by them, I could not suppress my feelings. I looked at the dome which covers the tomb, and thought of the death and resurrection of my Lord, and burst into tears. I entered and kneeled by the marble which is supposed to cover the spot where the body lay.' My tears flowed freely, and my soul seemed to be moved in I cannot describe. I dedicated myself anew to my Lord, and then offered up my prayers for my father, brothers, sisters, and particular friends.
"" I implored a blessing on Andover, and on all missionaries, and ministers, and on all the world. It seemed then as if Jesus Christ the Son of God had really suffered, died, and risen from the dead. The period of time that has elapsed since his death, dwindled as it were to a moment. The whole seemed present and real. O what sufferings ! what love! Dear brethren, it was for us he died. Shall we not then live to him? He died to save us from sin. Shall we not then avoid sin in all its forms? He died to save us. Can we then be unwilling to make efforts and undergo privations to save others ?
you think I have made any sacrifices, or undergone any hardships, I assure you I forgot them all when in the church of the Holy Sepulchre. But alas ! how little do I see around me of the efficacy of that blood which was shed on the cross. The Christian pilgrim cannot enter the building that covers the tomb of his Redeemer without buying permission from the enemies of his faith. I suppose at least three-fourths of the inhabitants of Jerusalem deny the divinity of our Lord, and the atoning efficacy of his death, and I fear all or nearly all the rest adore his mother and his disciples with almost as much apparent devotion as himself. When I was at Gethsemane there were so many armed Turks about that place, that I did not think it prudent to stop, but only walked across the field,
Where once thy churches prayed and sang,
Topographical information, however, it made no part of Mr. Fisk's object to collect, and we find fault only with the indiscreet publication of his imperfect notes. For, after all, it is not the detail of what such a man saw, and of the places that he visited, that we wish for: such pleasant traveller's gossip is quite out of place in a volume that ought to be occupied with the instructive memorial of all that was heroic in his conduct, lovely in his character, animating in his example, or instructive in his experience. These remarks, it may be said, will apply to many volumes besides that which has elicited them: we mean them to have a very general reference. They are not uncalled for.
The following extract from one of Mr. Fisk's letters, deserves consideration. He is speaking of the embarrassments under which the American Board of Missions at that time laboured for want of funds.
«« For missionaries themselves to speak on the subject of contributions for their own support, is a delicate thing. I have more than once resolved never to mention the subject in my communications to you or others. If I know myself, I would never do it for my own support or comfort. I would sooner, in case the provision now made for my support should fail, devote one half my time to labour, and thus support myself. But when I read the journals of our brethren in other missions ; and when I look at Smyrna and Armenia, and then see how difficult, how next to impossible it is, for the Board to send additional labourers into any of these fields, though there are young men ready to go, who ask for nothing but their food and clothing, I cannot but wish that I were able to say something which would rouse Christians to greater liberality. When a tabernacle was to be built, the people of Israel, of every condition, age, and sex, came forward voluntarily with their offerings, till the priests were obliged
Stop! There is enough and too much. When a temple was to be built, David offered willingly gold to the value of eighteen or twenty millions sterling, beside a large amount of silver and other things, and his chief men then offered a much larger amount; and David's prayer shows that, instead of feeling any reluctance, be offered all this from choice, and felt unworthy of the privilege of doing it. Thanks be to God for the grace bestowed on his people, there are, in the present day, many bright examples of cheerful liberality. But, alas ! how often is the opposite true! What reluctance! What frivolous excuses! What absurd and ridiculous objections! I have been an agent for the missionary cause, and shall never cease to remember, with gratitude, the kind encouragement, the cordial approbation, and the cheerful contributions of a few, in many places which I had occasion to visit. But the coldness, the shyness, the studied neglect, the suspicion, the prejudice, which the simple name of missionury agent produced in the minds of many who profess to be Christians, to have their treasure in heaven, to prize the Gospel above all other things, and to pity the perishing heathen,--cannot easily be forgotten. A missionary ought unquestionably to labour contentedly, and
pp. 165, 6.
be grateful for whatever support the churches may afford him; and, I am sure, if the donors could know with what emotions missionaries sometimes read over the monthly lists of contributions, they would not think them altogether ungrateful. But, is it a duty, is it right, while so many are living at home in ease and affluence, that missionaries should bring themselves to an early grave, by cares and labours, which might be relieved by a little pecuniary assistance ? I know not how it may seem to others; but, knowing as I now do the various expenses to which a missionary is constantly subjected, it seems to me hardly possible, that the sum you allow should appear too great. The sum which we receive, is a mere pittance, compared with what other travellers, who come into this part of the world, expend. It is, in fact, small when compared with what the episcopal missionaries in these parts receive. You merely defray the expenses of your missionaries, and those kept down by the most rigid economy; and yet there are generally several waiting, who cannot be sent abroad, for want of money.
In this country, at the present moment, we fear the want of money is not more urgent than the want of suitable agents.
Mr. Fisk was born at Shelburne, U.S., June 24, 1792. In 1811, he was admitted to Middlebury College, Vermont; he completed his professional studies in the theological seminary at Andover. In 1819, he bade an adieu to his native shores, and sailed for the scene of his missionary labours under the auspices of the American Board. He arrived at Smyrna in Jan. 1820, and spent the greater part of the next six years in different parts of Syria and Egypt. The following letter, dated Beyroot, Oct, 20, 1825, was written to his fellow labourer, the Rev. Jonas King, a few days before his death. • My beloved brother King,
• Little did we think, when we parted, that the first, or nearly the first, intelligence concerning me, would be the news of my death. Yet, at present, this is likely to be the case. I write you as from my dying bed. The Saviour whom I have so imperfectly served, I trust, now grants me his aid ; and to his faithful care I commit my immortal spirit. May your life be prolonged and be made abundantly useful. Live a life of prayer. Let your conversation be in heaven. Labour abundantly for Christ. Whatever treatment you meet with, whatever difficulties you encounter, whatever vexations fall to your lot, and from whatever source, possess your soul in patience; yea, let
patience have her perfect work. I think of you now in my dying moments, and remember many happy hours we have spent together. And I die in the glorious hope of meeting you where we shall be freed from all sin. Till that happy meeting, dear brother, farewell !
Art. IX. 1. Letters to a Friend, intended to relieve the Difficulties of
an anxious Inquirer, under Serious Impressions on the Snbjects of Conversion and Salvation. By the late Rev. Thomas Charlton Henry, D.D., of Charleston, South Carolina. Second Edition, revised and corrected, with Memoirs of the Author, and other pre
fatory Matter. 12mo. pp. 266. Price 58. 6d. London, 1829. 2. Advice to Religious Inquirers, respecting some of the Difficulties
arising from the present State of Society. By James Matheson, Minister of the Gospel, Durham. 12mo. pp. 232. Edinburgh,
1828. THESE two volumes have in a great measure a common ob
ject, although the specific difficulties for which they aim at providing relief and remedy, are of a somewhat different character; and they belong to a class of works of which there is confessedly a deficiency. While the religious public have been well provided with doctrinal and practical works, yet, there are few that contain that advice and counsel which are suited to the varied states of individual feeling under the pressure of religious anxiety. Dr. Henry's work appears under the fraternal auspices of the Rev. Dr. Pye Smith, who has been induced to undertake the task of preparing these Letters for the press, by • a conviction that, with much originality and independence of
sentiment, they exhibit a picture of the human mind in some of its most interesting states of feeling.
· The invaluable treatises of Preston and Sibbes, Shepard, Alleine, and Baxter, Halyburton, Doddridge, and Witherspoon', continues Dr.
a part of the richest treasures of the true church of God, -enter only upon some of the sides and sinuosities of this amplc field, and fall far short of exploring its obscure and dreary extent. Dr. Henry's prompt and vigorous mind formed a boldly comprehensive idea of the object which it was so desirable to accomplish. That he has carried every point, and left nothing further to be attempted or to be wished for, it would be absurd to pretend. But, by a few rapid and masterly strokes, he has done much ; and he has done it well. He has left his dying legacy; a work which could have been produced only by a fine natural genius, aided by extensive scriptural study, habits of deep experimental self-knowledge, large intercourse with men, penetrating observation, and, above all, a very abundant measure of sanctifying inAuence from the Almighty and Holy Spirit.'
To this encomium on the volume, we feel it unnecessary to add any recommendation of our own; and we shall merely say, that the religious public are laid under fresh obligations to the learned Editor, who, amid his multiplied avocations, academic, pastoral, and literary, has found time to discharge this humbler office of kindness and usefulness. The contents of the letters are too diversified to admit of analysis within convenient limits,
and a specimen seems almost unnecessary. The following very judicious remarks, however, will admit of being detached, and we transcribe them with pleasure into our pages.
- You ask, whether God ever withholds his grace from the Inquirer, in order to try him further, after he is already endued with a penitent and humble frame of feeling ?" The whole tenor of my letters is against the affirmative of this question. But it deserves more explicit notice.
• I have more than once known persons in deep distress, advised to persevere, under the idea that the Dispenser of pardon may be putting their patience to a test; or, in other words, waiting until they acquire this virtue, as a preliminary to the reward of acceptance. This is very injudicious and unscriptural. Instead of proving an incentive to perseverance, as it is intended to be, it is discouraging in the extreme. The unregenerate sinner can achieve nothing to entitle him to favour : and there is no intermediate state, in which he can ever be supposed, between ruin and grace. Nor can any withholding, on the part of God, when the sinner approaches aright, detain him in the former of these conditions. If it were otherwise, and we were allowed a supposition on this subject, then the death of the sinner, in that intermediate state, would leave the fault of his final rejection from heaven at the door of the Author of his being.
• The examples which you have quoted, in the Syrophenician woman, the importunate widow, and the neighbour soliciting bread, were never designed to encourage such a conclusion; nor have they any reference whatever to the case. The trials which God may suffer his people to undergo, while he supports them at the same time, and improves some grace within them to their ultimate good, is no indication that he ever would stand back, a single moment, from the penitent sinner. To require immediate and unconditional submission on our own part; and to tender the promises in return, and then delay their fulfilment; has never been the manner of the Divine dealing. The prayer of the true penitent is answered at once, although it may
not be in a way perceptible to himself, nor with the immediate consequences to his own mind, which he had fondly anticipated. We must learn to distinguish between the manner and the thing; between an utter refusal and the mode of conferring the boon. I should not hesitate to say to any complainer on this subject, that either his prayer was already answered, or the fault was entirely his own. We cannot escape this inference, if we consider the Creator as consistent with himself. I cannot, therefore, restrain an expression of regret, when I read a contrary sentiment, in works expressly designed to relieve or assist the Inquirer. The question seems to be so clearly and unequivocally settled in the word of God, that it is a matter of surprise how it should involve a doubt in any other mind, than one harassed by its fears, and confused by its perplexities.' pp. 225, 226.
The contents of Mr. Matheson's work are as follows: Chap. 1. The nature of religious inquiry, and the best means of pursuing it.-II. The influence of erroneous preaching on the