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ness of this life. He was conscientiously careful to avoid all
In addition to the systematic and laborious attention which Mr
Another journal was made the repository of a faithful record of his views and impressions in regard to a missionary life. On this subject, he says that he felt it his duty to pray much, and devoutly to inquire whether his age, health, talente, habits, feelings, connexions in life, reputation, the leadings of Providence, and the teachings of the Holy Spirit,' were such as to justify his proposed enterprise. Having looked at the subject with a mind powerfully impressed with an apprehension of the magnitude, the difficulties, and the responsibleness of the work, he arrived, at length, after many anxieties, prayers, and tears, at a full conviction of his duty, not far removed from assurance. His decision was made, and he immediately addressed a communication to the American Board,' offering himself to be employed, under their direction, in some part-in any part of the pagan world.
The class of which he was a member finished their regular course of three years in September, 1818. On the 23d of that month, at a meeting of the Prudential Committee of the Board, the Palestine Mission was established, and Pliny Fisk, and Levi Parsons, were appointed the first Missionaries to occupy that station.
Mr Fisk was ordained at Salem, November 5, 1818, and was sent to the southern states on an agency connected with the objects of the Board. In procuring donations to the missionary funds, and in awakening the Christian public to an appreciation of the objects of the missionary enterprise, he was satisfactorily successful. While in Savannah, the Missionary Society of that city resolved to provide the means for his support, as 'their Missionary to Asia.'
In July, 1819, he returned to his native state, and prepared for his anticipated embarkation. At Boston, Sabbath evening, October 31, he preached to a large and deeply interested congregation, in the Old South Church, from Acts xx. 22. * And now, behold, I go bound in the Spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befal me there.'
On the Wednesday following, November 3, 1819, Mr Fisk and his colleague, Mr Parsons, embarked for Smyrna, and bade adieu to the shores, the scenes, and the privileges of their native country. His letters to his friends in America, written during the voyage, evince a growing confidence that he was in the path of duty, and that God would support him faithfully unto the end. December 23, the ship entered the harbor of Malta, where she remained until January 9, 1820, when she sailed for Asia Minor. In six days they reached Smyrna, and immediately commenced their labors in the service of Christ.
In Smyrna they found encouraging facilities for the establishment of a mission, for the acquisition of the dialects of the Levant, and the distribution of Testaments and tracts. rounding country, also, presented an extensive field for missionary toil; and they resolved to apply their powers to the best advantage for its cultivation. On the first Monday in February, they united with an English Clergyman, in the monthly concert of prayer. * Probably,' says Mr Bond, this was the first meeting of the kind ever held in Turkey.'
The correspondence of Mr Fisk, while resident in Smyrna, was such as we might expect from one so thoroughly devoted to the missionary work, and deeply convinced of the ruined condition of man. In a letter dated March 17, 1820, he says :
‘Smyrna would be a good missionary station. It is full of souls bound to eternity, but enveloped in the most dreadful moral dark
You cannot, I apprehend, very well conceive what emotions it excites, to stand and look at such a city. The people are dying daily in the most dreadful ignorance of the Saviour, and of the true God. There are around the city immense burying grounds, some of them containing, I presume, twenty or thirty acres, filled with tombs and overshadowed with cypress trees.
What a scene will it be when these unnumbered congregations of the dead shall rise again!'
His amusing description, in the same letter, of the population of that city, indicates that he was an attentive observer of men and madners. Numerous indications of a similar character are developed in the subsequent productions of his pen, which are incorporated in this Memoir.
Scio—the Chios of Luke—an island of the Archipelago, about seventy miles from Smyrna, was selected by Mr Fisk and his colleague, as an eligible summer residence. In the month of May, 1820, they repaired thither, and beside prosecuting the study of the modern Greek, endeavored by every possible means to be useful in their vocation, by visiting schools, exploring nunneries and monasteries, and pouring into the abodes of ignorance and superstition, the light of the pure gospel. They also distributed Testaments and tracts. Scio, it will be recollected, has since been the scene of the most sanguinary and barbarous transactions. It still exhibits the deep traces of Turkish cruelty-a cruelty nearly allied to infernal.
Having returned about the middle of autumn to Smyrna, they soon commenced a tour into the interior for the purpose of visiting the places where once stood and flourished the seven churches of Asia.
At Pergamos, now called Bergamo, they found very little that was interesting. The population amounts to about fifteen thousand, chiefly Turks. 'Nine or ten minarets speak the power of the false prophet.' Rev. ii. 12-17.
Thyatira is a small place, containing one thousand houses, many of them constructed of mud or earth. The streets are narrow and dirty, and every thing indicates poverty and degradation. Rev. ii. 18—29.
Sardis, now called Sart, was once the great capital of the Lydjan kings, and the city of the far-famed Cresus. Here were a few names, in the days of John, who had not defiled their garments. But the city is now a mass of ruins, sadly indicative of the fulfilment of prophecy. Rev. iii. 1–6. Nothing, says Mr Fisk, 'was to be seen but a few mud huts, inhabited by ignorant, stupid, filthy Turks; and the only men who bore the Christian name were at work all day on the Sabbath, in their mill. Every thing seemed as if God had cursed the place, and left it to the dominion of satan.'
Philadelphia, now called Allah Scheyr—the city of God—is situated at ihe foot of mount Tmolus, and contains three thousand houses, mostly Turkish. While there, our travellers went to see a wall about a mile west of the town, said to have been built of men's bones. The tradition is, that there was a church near the place, dedicated to St John; and when a vast multitude were assembled to celebrate his festival, the enemy came upon them and slew them all. Their bodies were not buried, but piled up together in the form of a wall. The part now remaining, is about thirty rods long, and in some places eight feet thick, and ten high, composed principally, if not wholly, of bones.
Mr Parsons having been ill some days, and this illness increasing, they were reluctantly compelled to return without visiting all the seven churches. Laodicea and Ephesus still remained. The former is now little else than a mass of solitary ruins. The journal of this excursion was written by Mr Fisk, and exhibits a striking union of critical taste and Christian sensibility. He afterwards visited Ephesus, where 'no human being now lives.' Rev. ii. 1—7. His reflections on this solitary spot are worthy of himself.
After Mr Parsons had recovered, he proceeded to Judea with the view of ascertaining the most eligible location for a permanent missionary establishment. Mr Fisk remained at Smyrna, pursuing his studies, making researches in the vicinity, and distributing religious tracts.
[To be continued.]
FOR MARCH, 1829.
INDIAN STATIONS. marks, 'I feel an increasing evidence LETTERS have been received from that conducted me to this place, though
that it was the good providence of God, Mr M'Coy, from which we learn, that I came with trembling steps. I am he has returned from his exploring ex
not without hope, that the Lord is about pedition, and reached the city of Washington on the 27th of January. He
to grant us a season of refreshing from his presence.
I have found two or has made his report to the Govern three individuals, who I hope are subment, which is in favor of the terri.
grace; and there appear to be tory explored, and of the removal of the
some persons in a state of religious inIndians. A map of the country, ex
quiry.' tending west of the Rocky Mountains, and north as far as the Indian territory will probably extend, accompanies his report. Mr M'Coy expresses the hope,
Rev. Evan Jones, Missionary at this that they may have the privilege of station, has transmitted his Journal to removing west the next season.
the Corresponding Secretary. anticipate receiving, in a few days, a
following extracts exhibit some of the particular statement of the intelligence prospects accompanying his labors. communicated in the Report.
March 1, 1828. Preached from John i. 29, `Behold the Lamb of God, &c.' Concluded the day in reading and conversing on the subject of hu
man depravity. At first view of the The Treasurer has received a letter moral state ot this country, one would from the Rev. Mr Bingham, Jan. 1, think it a very easy task to convince the 1829, from which the following par- people of the doctrine of human deprav.
ity; yet experience proves the reverse. ticulars are selected. Mr Bingham at The people in general are at once proflifirst established a meeting at his school gate as the publican, and self-righteous house, for the citizens and Indians, but as the Pharisee. God alone can rend afterwards, by request of the command the vail which conceals man from him
self. ing officer of the United States garrison, 12. The first number of the stationed iu the place, he established a Cherokee Phenix came to hand, which regular meeting among the soldiers was the occasion of great rejoicing. on Lord’s-day evening. His services forts now making for enlightening this
Oh! that the Lord may bless the efon Lord’s-day are three, viz. with the people. citizens and Indians at 11, A. M. with 22. Reached New Echota. On the the Indians at 2, and with the garrison way, saw some Indians sitting under at 5. At the garrison is a full house, horses were feeding. A very pleasing
a tree reading the paper, while their the officers generally attending. A change, from the listless lounging in pious lady officiates as interpreter to
which they used to indulge. the Indians, who possesses a missionary
29. A young man, who came
seventeen miles for instruction, was spirit, and is deeply interested in their greatly interested with the parable of religious welfare. Mr Bingham re the Prodigal Son, and spent considera
SOULT DE ST. MARIE.
ble time in transcribing it. This young fit for such a privilege. May the Lord man has been under serious impressions so bless the efforts for disseminating a long time, but his opportunities for truth, that its seeds may vegetate and instruction have been very few. Gave flourish, and become a blessing to the him some instruction and a paper, for latest generations. which he appeared thankful, and said he would come again soon, and bring some others with him to stay over a BURMAN MISSION. Sabbath day. Several families in his neighborhood, have for a considerable In our Missionary Register the last time, desisted from work on the Sab- month, we gave several articles of late bath, and spend part of the time in sing. and interesting intelligence from the ing hymns and talking what they know Burman Mission. The death of Dr about religion.
April 11. Conversed with some Price leaves the station at Ava destitute persons this morning, who appeared of a laborer; but we hope the Lord under serious impressions. I trust of the harvest will soon raise up some several are inquiring what they must do to be saved. At noon preached from pious and zealous individual qualified Matt. xi. 28, • Come unto me,' &c. advantageously to occupy the vacant Most of the people very attentive, station. We have no means of furand I trust somewhat impressed with nishing any intelligence respecting the their situation as poor heavy laden sinners. I hope the Lord is about to views or exercises of our departed work in this place. I learn that some friend in the prospect of death; but rude characters are much changed in we trust, that those animating doctheir conduct. Oh! that the Lord trides, those exhilarating truths which would accompany his word with divine power. Found several Indians, who he had been laboring to impart to the could read portions of Scripture which Burmans, were his own solace in the I had with me. My little book was hour of trial. It has been stated, that examined by them with eagerness. Howard, when about to repair to Grand They spent several hours in listening to its contents. If we had any thing Cairo, was entreated by his friends to printed that could be distributed, it forbear, lest the plague, which was would be very attentively read by then raging, should prove fatal to him ; hundreds.
21. A good many people attended but he replied, that Grand Cairo was at the school house. I preached on
as near heaven, as London was. It is the importance of building our hopes our joy to believe, that Ava is as near for eternity on the rock Christ Jesus. heaven, as our own cities are ; and the They appeared to listen with concern. I had the pleasure to find that the spirit of the departing Christian, may impressions made some months ago, with equal speed find the bosom of the have not been obliterated. Conversed Saviour. We cherish the hope that with one native female, who appears
some authentic account may yet reach to be brought almost to the foot of the
She said, she thought she loved us of his departing moments. the Lord Jesus. Many hinderances The following Journal of Mr Wade, have been cast in her way; but her directed to the Corresponding Secredesire is, to trust in the Lord for body and soul. Her conduct has been such, tary, is not of so recent date as some as to induce the belief that she has ex. other communications from the Burman perienced a change of heart. It has Mission ; but as it is interesting to been our practice to use the utmost trace both the hopes and disappointcaution in proposing a union with the church, till we have clear evidence of ments which attend the labors of the a work of grace. Believing I had that faithful Missionary, we insert it, knowevidence in the present case, I men- ing our readers will be interested in its tioned the subject by way of inquiry,
perusal if she would not wish to join with the followers of Christ. She said she Amherst, Oct. 7, 1827, Lord's-day. would rejoice to do so, if she were pre- Excepting the scholars, only seven pared, but thought she was not yet persons at worship; three days of the