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to complete the process through which it would seem the Jews have passed. How natural the transition from immersion to pouring seven times—to pouring once—to sprinkling—to nothing ! But many of them, we trust, will at length yield themselves to the guidance of the Holy Scriptures, and rejoice in a light far superior to Jewish or any other tradition. To perceive the utter worthlessness of this Jew's representation, they need only recollect what we find on the very next page, where Mr Fisk proceeds:
One day we read Genesis xlix. 10, and I inquired what the Jews supposed was meant by Shiloh. He replied, “The Messiah.' Then, said I, the Messiah must be already come, for your sceptre departed centuries ago. You have no king, no kingdom, no government. “You speak truly, said he. "The Rabbins, however, say there is a place where the sceptre still remains in the hands of the Jews.' But where is that place? Who knows,' said he, but it may be, as some say, in America, beyond Mexico, where there is a river of stones, that run along as water does in other rivers, ercept on Saturday, when the river stands still ?'
During his residence at Jerusalem, Mr Fisk was industriously engaged in preaching to a few hearers at his own room, and in distributing the Holy Scriptures. For the latter service, however, he suffered much from the persecuting spirit of the Turkish authorities. He was rudely treated, and a proclamation was issued, requiring all who had received books from him to deliver them up to the judge. But though much excitement was produced, yet God overruled the persecution for the benefit of his servants, and the more extensive circulation of his own word. A spirit of inquiry was awakened that induced multitudes to purchase the Bible, who had never before scen the precious volume. About six weeks before the conclusion of his residence in the Holy City, Mr Fisk was attacked with a fever, which interrupted his labors, and debilitated his system. As soon, therefore, as he was able to travel, he returned to Beyroot. On the 22d of June, 1824, he joined Mr King at Der el Kamer, and soon after set out for Damascus, which place, after crossing Mount Lebanon and Anti Libanus, they reached on the third day. While there they had opportunity, not only for the study of the Arabic, but also for discussing religious subjects with Jews, Greeks, and Mussulmans, and for the circulation of the Scriptures, notwithstanding the interdiction of the pope, and the opposition of the priests.'
July 17, they left Damascus, with a caravan, for Aleppo; and during their journey thither, which occupied them twelve days, they suffered much from heat and fatigue. Their arrival produced an immediate alarm among the Mussulman authorities, and on the next day the British Consul received a message from the pasha, stating that an order had been received by him, prohibiting the distribution of the Christian Scriptures among the Grand Seignior's subjects. Mr Fisk continued the study of the Arabic, and preached on the Sabbath at the house of the consul. After a stay of about eight weeks, they returned to Beyroot, passing through Antioch, in Syria, where the disciples were first called Christians.'
From Beyroot, on this interesting tour, Mr Fisk had been absent nearly five months. His object had been to survey the country, not so much geographically,' or 'statistically,' or merely as an antiquarian, as morally,' and to ascertain what could be done to advance the object to which his valuable life was devoted. Of course he found much to appal, and not a little to encourage. But,' says his biographer, 'having set up his banner in the name of his God, he felt a strong conviction, that though the conflict might be sharp, the victory was sure.'
In the succeeding month of January, Mr Fisk, in company with Mr King, took up his residence at Jaffa, where they engaged in study, in addition to their missionary duties. In March, they removed to Jerusalem, with the view of recommencing their labors in that rendezvous of darkness and sin. On the anniversary of the crucifixion, they went to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, to witness the idolatrous worship of the Catholics. There were delivered, as usual on this occasion, seven sermons.
The first in the chapelthe second at the place where it is said, the garments of our Lord were divided—the third where he was beaten—the fourth where he was nailed to the cross, &c. “ Thus,” says Mr Bond,“ do the paganized Christians of that country, 'crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame,' on Mount Calvary, in the house of God, and at the very place where once he suffered; while the Mussulman and Jew pass by and revile him, wagging their heads.'”
But their stay at Jerusalem was likely to prove hazardons, on account of the tumult excited by the arrival of the pasha of Damascus, with an arined force to collect tribute. The whole city was full of consternation, and few considered themselves as secure from the rapacity and vengeance of the pasha's soldiers. Accordingly after a few weeks of toil and danger, they judged it advisable to leave the place and retire to Beyroot. On their way they suffered from the depredations of wandering Arabs, and once had a severe encounter with a horde of them, who attacked their caravan with great violence.
Owing to excessive labor, anxiety, and exposure, the health of Mr Fisk bad become impaired. Excepting some short excursions in the vicinity, he now continued within the mission family at Beyroot, prosecuted the study of languages, and consulted with his missionary brethren about future labors. His end was drawing nigh. Tuesday, October 11, 1825, he was taken ill of a fever, which gradually took deeper and deeper hold of his system, until the morning of the 230, when “the tired wheels of nature ceased to move, and the soul, which had been so long waiting for deliverance, was quietly released.”
His last hours, when not clouded by paroxysms of delirium, were full of proofs that he enjoyed the presence of his Redeemer. Under a clear conviction of the depravity of his nature, he was humble. In view of the faithfulness of God, as developed in his own experience, as well as in the Bible, he had "strong confidence" in the divine promises. His hope of heaven was deeply founded in the atonement by Jesus Christ. His work was done, and well done, and his Father in heaven called him home to enjoy the reward of the faithful.
In this brief sketch of a good man's life and labors, we have endeavored to give not only an outline of the ‘Memoir' by Mr Bond, but also a comprehensive view of those features in the character and exertions of Mr Fisk, which render him a model worthy of extensive imitation. The result of efforts at compression, however, will hardly be satisfactory to such as have contemplated and adınired the full length portrait. The miniature must necessarily be wanting in completeness. Only a few prominent and general lineaments could be included in a space so inevitably restricted.
A recapitulation of his characteristic traits may not here be irrelevant.
Mr Fisk was a man of extraordinary piety. Possessing correct views of the character and government of God, he cherished continually an impressive conviction of his obligations and duties as a dependant and sinful subject. He ever made religion a consideration of personal interest, and consequently, notwithstanding his zeal and labors for the salvation of others, he did not neglect his own soul. Because of the multiplied efforts in which he engaged to bring others to the feet of the crucified Saviour, he did not consider himself as absolved from the duty which he enjoined upon them. His industry as a student, or as a Missionary, was not less conspicuous than as an humble and assiduous cultivator of his own gracious affections. He loved the Scriptures—he delighted in prayer—and in his examinations of his own heart, he was unusually particular and severe. The purity and strength of his devotional feelings, while prosecuting his academical education, have seldom been excelled; and they most thoroughly refute the oft-repeated objection, that classical studies necessarily repress the ardor of piety. It is possible that Mr Fisk did not devote so much of his time, while in College, to efforts for intellectual improvement, as might have been desirable. But he was not indolent; nor did he ungratefully despise and neglect the advantages which he enjoyed. All things considered, he held a creditable position in his class; and he was devotedly active, not only in cultivating personal piety, but also in diffusing aropnd him the influence of an operative and fervid Christianity. We were well acquainted with him while in College, and at Andorer. We have attentively observed the course which he has since pursued. And, in view of the whole, we have often contemplated him as affording a remarkable illustration of the fact, that a student, surrounded by many discouraging circumstances, and not distinguished at first as a scholar, may, in a few years, by well directed and persevering diligence, outstrip those who once were before him, and leave them far behind, both in intellectual attainments and in real usefulness.
In all his prayers and toils, he was distinguished for unity of object. The one engrossing, all absorbing object of his life, was the work of a Missionary. For this work he resolved, by every practicable method, to qualify himself, assured that should Providence require him to remain and toil in some secluded country parish in New England, every qualification of a thorough-bred Missionary would even there be of essential service. And were this spiritthis genuine "passion for Missions," - more extensively nurtured in our Colleges and Theological Institutions, they would become fountains whence far better streams would issue for the watering, not only of foreign, but also of domestic vineyards. The spirit of Missions is the spirit of the Apostles—the spirit of Christ. Mr Fisk was remarkable, even from childhood, for
perseverance. Whenever his mind was established in regard to duty, he urged his way firmly onward to its performance. In almost every enterprize of his life, we discover indications of this steady and unwavering adherence to his original purpose-never yielding to small difficulties-never relinquishing his object, unless convinced of its impracticableness by the opposing providence of God. He was a stranger to that disgraceful timidity which hesitates, and is fearful of doing duty because the consequences threaten to be disastrous to himself. He studied not his own ease or gratification, but the will and honor of his Master. He dared to do what he be lieved God required of him, and dared not do less. And this moral heroism was as strikingly developed in his patient submission when his plans were interrupted, as in his zealous prosecution of them, while their accomplishment seemed practicable.
In the loftiest and purest import of the term, Mr Fisk was an enthusiast. His enthusiasm, however, was accompanied by light as well as heat. It was chastened and regulated by principle, and seldom overstepped the limits of Christian prudence. It was the concentrated emotion of a mind, deeply convinced of the depravity and peril of the perishing myriads of the human family, and desirous to put forth its utmost energies to rescue at least some of them from the terrors of “the coming wrath.” He had enlarged conceptions of the stupendous value of the soul, the holiness of God, and the awfulness of the sinner's destiny; and he counted not his life dear unto himself, so that he might be the instrument of publishing the tidings of a Saviour's love in the abodes of ignorance and crime.
One fact developed in the course of this Memoir,' though perhaps of little value in the estimation of others, excited in us a peculiar interest. Mr Fisk submitted to Providence, and the judg. ment of the Board, the selection of the field where he should labor. Ile had surrendered himself, without reservation, to the work of a Missionary, and was willing to wear out his life in any part of the world where he might be useful in winning souls to Christ. This was his highest ambition. Consequently he felt little solicitude, whether, after doing all the good in his power, his body might be interred in some island of the Pacific seas, beneath the snows of Greenland, among the arid sands of Africa, or in the jungles of Hindoostan. He felt that he was devoted to the service of a Redeemer, who, while a Missionary in this ruined world, had “not where to lay his head," and he would not be particular about his temporal comfort, provided he could somewhere demonstrate his fi
delity to that Redeemer, and be permitted to guide some wandering souls to the field of his compassion.
Of the book, whose title is placed at the head of this article, and from which we have derived the materials for this condensed sketch, we have little to say. With its structure, in the main, we are pleased. To the eighth Chapter we would only add the following words: And it would doubtless have been still more interesting, had there been among the communicants a Roman Catholic and a Quaker.
The Author has exhibited his talent, not so much by what he has himself written, as by a judicious selection and arrangement of the documents which were left by his deceased friend. The memory of many an excellent man has suffered, and the influence of his writings and of his example has been greatly diminished, in consequence of the selection of a biographer, who has evinced less solicitude to do justice to the departed subject, than to show off his own ability to make a book. Not so in the case before
We see nothing of Mr Bond, except what is necessary in order to preserve the narration unbroken, with occasionally a remark at the conclusion of a chapter, or of a particular subject, such as would be natural to any one whose mind was deeply interested in the events recorded. He throws himself into the distance, and shows us Fisk—Pliny Fisk, just as he was; and hence, every one who delights in a true exhibition of things and characters, must read this volume with satisfaction. It is a plain, undecorated nar. rative ; exhibiting facts such as a lover of truth, and an admirer of the Christian character would wish to find. It presents to us a young man, of little more than ordinary powers, by the mere force of a consistent piety, urging his way through embarrassments and difficulties, at which others would have been disheartened; never losing sight of the one object toward which all his efforts concentred; prosecuting his duties, however toilsome, with a quenchless ardency of soul; rendering every thing around him and within him, subservient to the promotion of his object; renouncing the satisfactions of domestic felicity; zealously pushing his researches into every section of the country about him, for the benefit of his successors in the field; exposing and combatting “spiritual wickedness in high places;" continually projecting fresh schemes for extending the light of salvation, and continually executing those schemes; and at last, at the age of thirty-three, calmly resigning his spirit into the hands of that Redeemer in whom he trusted, and for whom he labored.
The Selection and Use of Acceptable Words in Preaching ; a Ser
mon, delivered at the Ordination of Mr EBENEZER THRESHER, Jr. to the Pastoral Charge of the First Baptist Church, Portland. By DANIEL SHARP, Pastor of the Third Baptist Church in Boston.
LANGUAGE is the most common medium of communication between man and man. By this, either written or spoken, we im