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speak, but the patriarch said to me, “’Sheak.” I then observed, that St. Ephraim says, “Come, eat the fire of the bread, and drink the spirit of the wine;” and began to say from this, that our eating the body of Christ was not natural, but spiritual. Then again he fell into a rage against me. I said to him, “It is written, be ye angry and sin not. I told you before, that I would keep silence and not speak without your consent, and whatever you wish, tell me that I may act, or io, accordingly.” At this the patriarch smiled. But the bishop fell into a passion still more violent, against the patriarch as well as myself, and rose and went away. I also left the room. In the evening, when were collected together the patriarch and bishop and all the monks, with priest Nicholas, whom they were about to ordain bishop on the morrow, the patriarch began to ask me questions respecting my faith. When I saw that their object was neither to benefit me, nor receive benefit, I gave them answers calculated to continue the conversation in a trifling strain, saying, “My faith is the faith of Peter, and the faith of Peter is my faith. I believe all that God has given by inspiration to the one only holy catholic church.” He asked me, What is the church? I answered, “The church is the whole company of those who believe in the Messiah and his law, on all the face of the earth.” But where is the place of the church? “The place of the church is the whole world, it is made up of every nation and people.” “What,” said he, “the English among the rest?” “Yes, of the English also.” Afterwards, when he continued to question me, and I saw that he had no other object than to try me, I assured him, this is my faith, and to this faith will I hold, whether it is worth any thing in your estimation or not. I then asked him if he was willing to hold a discussion on the subject; but he would not permit it in any shape. He afterwards requested me to tell my faith again without fear, and without concealment. I referred them to the priest that was about to be ordained, saying, that I had conversed with him on all points particularly, and that he was able to make answer for me. The priest then bore testimony on the spot, that I had said before him that I believed the pope to be infallible, while I never said this to him at any time. Afterward, when I was in his company privately, I inquired how he could bear such testimony as he had done. He confessed in the fullest terms, that he knew it was a falsehood, but that he said what he did, that they might cease
talking with me. The same night I had resolved on quitting them; so at about midnight I left the convent, committing myself to the protection of God, who never deserts them that trust in him, and arrived at Beyroot on the morning of Thursday, March 2, 1826. Here then I remain at present, not that I may take my views from the English, or from the Bible men, nor that I may receive my religion from them. No, by no means; for I hold to the word of God. This is beyond all danger of error. In this I believe; in this is my faith, and according to it I desire to regulate my life, and enjoy all my consolations. By this I wish to shew what I believe and not to confer with flesh and blood, that I may not run now nor hereafter in vain; for I know and am persuaded, that the true religion is not according to the teaching of men, but according to the inspiration of God: not according to the custom of education, but according to the truth, which is made manifest by the word of God. . I therefore say to myself now, as I did in the convent with the patriarch, where I wrote thus: “Far from me be all the commandments of men. Nothing is to come into comparison with the teaching of Jesus by reading the New Testament. If our hearts are not transformed, there is the greatest danger that we die in our sins. If any thing in the doctrine of Jesus seems burdensome, let us pray that he may make it light; and if there is any thing that we do not understand, let us pray that he would instruct us and reyeal the obscurity to all who truly believe in Jesus. There is nothing more delightful to the soul than he. Oh taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed are all they that put their trust in him. Cast thy burthen on the Lord and he will sustain thee. Sweet is the sorrow produced by his word; for it gives us an aversion to all the consolations of time. Let us therefore seek refuge in God. Alas for thee, O thou that trustest to the doctrines of men, .."; if they give rest to your conscience, for that rest is false and deceitful, proceeding from the thoughts of men, and preventing you from attaining that true rest, of which the Apostles speak, saying, We do rest from our tabors. Take heed lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. Read the word and it shall teach you all things necessary to your salvation. . If you say you do not understand it, behold the promise of St. James, If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally and unbraideth not,
and it shall be given him. The divine word is a most precious treasure, from which all wise men are enriched. Drink from the fountain itself. Again, I say, vain is the philosophy of men; for it recommends to us doctrines newlyinvented, and prevents our increase in virtue, rather than promotes it. Cast it far from you.” This is what I wrote some time since, and I would revolve these thoughts in my mind at all times. The object in all that I have done, or attempted, or written, in this late occurrence, is, that I may act as a disciple and servant of Christ. I could not, therefore, receive any advice, which should direct me to hide my religion under a bushel. I cannot regulate myself by any rules contrary to those of Christ; for I believe that all who follow his word in truth, are the good grain, and that all those who add to his word, are the tares sown by the enemy, which shall soon be gathered in bundles and cast into the fire unquenchable. And I beg every member of my sect, i.e. of the Maronite church, who loves truth, if he sees me in an error to point it out to me, that I may leave it, and cleave to the truth. But I must request those who would rectify my views, not to do as did a priest at Beyroot, who after a considerable discussion, denied the inspiration of the New Testament. Men like him I do not wish to attempt to point out my errors; for such men, it is evident, need rather to be preached to, than to preach; and to be guided, rather than to guide. But if any understanding man will take the word of God and prove to me from it any doctrine whatever, I will respect him and honor him with all pleasure. But if a doctrine Cannot be established thus, it is not only opposed to the doctrines of Christ, but to the views of the early Christians, the fathers of the church; such as St. Ephraim and others. Such doctrines I Cannot confess to be correct, although it should cost me the shedding of my blood. Be it known, that I am not seeking money, nor office; nor do I fear anything from contempt, nor from the cross, nor from the persecution of men, nor from their insults, nor their evil acSusations, so far as they are false. For am ready for the sake of Christ to die daily, to be accounted as a sheep for the slaughter, for he, in that he suffer“d being tempted, is able to succor those that are tempted. I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us. I lieve that Jesus is our High Priest or ever, and hath an unchangeable
priesthood, wherefore he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, for he is the one Mediator between God and man, and he ever liveth to make intercession with the Father for us; and he is the propitiation for our sins, and to him be glory with the Father and his Holy Spirit of life for ever and ever.—-Amen. I would only add, if there is any one, whoever he may be, that will shew me to be under a mistake, and that there is no salvation for me unless I submit to the pope, or at least shew me that it is lawful to do so, I am ready to give up all my peculiar views and submit in the Lord. But without evidence that my views are thus mistaken, I cannot give them up, and yield a blind obedience, until it shall be not only told that I am mad, but until I shall be so in fact, and all my understanding leaves me. Not until men shall have burned not only the Bibles printed by the English, but all the Bibles of the world. But these two things, understanding and the Bible, I pray God to preserve both to me and to all the foliowers of Christ, and that he will preserve and save all you, my friends, in the Lord. As AAD SHIDIAK.
At late as the 19th of October, the date of the latest intelligence from Syria, the writer of the foregoing statement was alive, and steadfast to the faith he had derived from the Scriptures, though still in the hands of his enemies, and the object of cruel persecution.
The journal of Mr. Bird, which has been received, and will be commenced in our next number, will throw more light upon the character of this young reformer, as well as illustrate more fully the state of the mission.
MR. BIRD’s REMARKS ON MR. FISK.
AN account of the sickness and death of Mr. Fisk, with some remarks on his character, was contained in vol. xxii, pp. 128–132. The following additional remarks of Mr. Bird, extracted from a letter to the Corresponding Secretary, will be grateful to the numerous admirers of that devoted missionary.
The breach his death has made in the mission, is one which years will not probably repair. The length of time, which our deal brother had spent in the missionary field, the exténsive tours he had taken, the acquaintances and connexions he had formed, and the knowledge he had acquired of the state of men and things in all the Levant, had
well qualified him to act as our counsellor and guide, while his personal endowments gave him a weight of charaçter, sensibly felt by the natives. His knowledge of languages, considering his well known active habits, has often | been to us a subject of surprise and thanksgiving. All men who could comprehend French, Italian, or Greek, were accessible by his powerful admonitions. In the first mentioned language, he conversed with ease; and in the two last, performed, with perfect fluency, the common public services of , a preacher of the Gospel. Even the Arabic, with all its five years’ difficulties, he had so far mastered, as to . mence in it a regular Sabbath-day service with a few of the natives, nor" could we observe, that in this he labored under any embarrassment for want of words to convey his meaning. At the time of his death, beside preaching weekly in Arabic, and in English in his turn, together with pursuing his grammatical studies under an Arabic master, he had just commenced a work, to which, with the advice of us all present, he was directing, for the time, his main attention. Having in a manner completed the tour of Palestine and Syria, and having become nearly master of what concerns the grammatical part of the Arabic language; he began to feel more sensibly than ever the want of a roper sized dictionary, that should introduce the English missionary to the common spoken language of the country. The ponderous folios of Richardson are not for this country, but Persia; that of Golius, and the smaller work of Willmet, explain only the ancient language. Besi.es these, we have been able to procure only an abridgment of Richardson, and a small French
vocabulary, both quite too small for our purpose. We were therefore of the unanimous opinion, that a lexicon like the one in contemplation by Mr. Fisk, was quite needed, not only by ourselves, but by those who might succeed us in the mission. Our dear brother had written the catalogue of English words according to Johnson, and had just finished writing the catalogue (incomplete of Yo of the corresponding Arabic, when his disease arrested him. Had he lived, he had it in Colltemplation to visit his native country, and probably to prepare for publication some account of his Christian researches in the Levant. Such were some of the plans and emloyments of our brother and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, when he was called off from all his labors of love among men. He is gone, but his memo: ry lives. Never till we shall be called to go and sleep by his side, shall we forget the noble example of patience, faith and zeal, which he has set us; and never will the churches at home forget him, till they shall have forgotten their duty to spread the Gospel.
MR. GooDELL’s observ ATIONS ON THE
CLIMATE OF SYRIA. It has been an object with Mr. Goodell to furnish a series of observations and remarks on the climate of Syria during one year. Nine months of the year 1825, have already passed under review in the Missionary Herald; (see vol. xxi, pp. 345–348, and vol. xxii, pp. 183– 1855) and August, September and December, of the same year, remain to claim attention. The observations for these months have but lately been received.
Results of observations IN THE MONTHs of August, sept EMBER, AND DEcEMBER.
On many of the days the rain fell only in small quantities. On the 17th and 18th of March, there was snow, along with rain and hail: on the 19th, in the morning, the ice was nearly half an inch thick.
Remarks by Mr. Goodell.
In August.—This month has been very sickly among the natives. Scarce# a day has passed but some have died; requently two or three in a day; and in a few instances, eight or ten. In the neighborhood where I live, death has entered almost every house except my own. As the Christians, as well as the Mussulmans, make the most bitter wailings on the death of their relatives, our ears have been constantly assailed with the sounds of grief. The diseases, that have proved so fatal, have been the dysentery, and the bilious fever. The natives attribute them to the uncommon cold of the last winter. The Franks have generally enjoyed health, except a few strangers, who brought the fever with them from Cyprus. Both of Mr. Bird’s children have been afflicted with the ophthalmia, but are now better. During the month, Mon. Signor Gondolfy, the pope's vicar, died of the dropsy, at Antoora. In September.—The diseases, which were so prevalent and fatal in August, continued, though with less violence, through most of the present month. They appear to have raged through the whole country, as well high upon the mountain, as on the coast. An English merchant of this place died about the 15th inst. either from the fever, with which he was attacked, or from the improper medical treatment, which he received. It was in the month following, of this year, that Mr. Fisk sickened and died. His disease was a bilious fever. In December.—It has rained repeatedly during the month, but the quantity that has fallen, has been very inconsiderable. It has been a pleasant month for study, and for travelling. It has also been healthy, except that in many instances the fever and ague has attacked those, who had not perfectly recovered from the autumnal fever.
STATE AND PRoc REss of THE MISSION.
Intelligence, which, in its general aspect, is in a very high degree encouraging, has retently been received from this mission. It is contained chiefly in the correspondence of Mr. Goodell, under different dates, from January . 1826, to October 18th, of the same year. The letters, however, all came to the Mis*onary Rooms within a short period. In*ad of giving them in a consecutive series,
we shall adopt a more satisfactory arrangement, by selecting the kindred portions, wherever found, and bringing them together under their appropriate heads.
It may not be amiss, perhaps, to introduce the extracts, by a recapitulation of several facts and observations, which have already appeared in different parts of this work.
Let it be remembered, then, with grateful pleasure, that upon our American churches was conferred the high privilege of sending the first regular protestant mission to Palestime. This mission was commenced by Messrs. Fisk and Parsons, who preached their farewell sermons in Boston, previous to embarkation, in the autumn of 1819.
Mr. Parsons was the first protestant missionary, who visited the holy land, with a view to a permanent establishment, and the disturbed state of the country obliged him to
leave it within a few months. Only six years
have elapsed, since his visit was made; and soon after, he died. Messrs. Fisk and King, accompanied by Mr. Wolff, arrived in Judea in the spring of 1823, four years ago, from which time the mission may be regarded as permanently established: but the station at Beyroot, now the principal, and indeed the only, missionary station in Syria, (there being none, at present, in the holy land,) was not commenced by Messrs. Bird and Goodell until the autumn of that year. Mr. Fisk died in the fall of 1825, and Mr. King left Syria in accordance with his original plan and his engagements with the Board, just before that melancholy event. Mr. Wolff remained not long in that part of Asia. The few other protestant missionaries, who have visited that country, at different times, have not continued long, by reason of death, or sickness, or other causes. During the past year, Messrs. Bird and Goodell were the only protestant laborers in that field.* It is, therefore, a fact worthy of notice, in order duly to appreciate the existing state of things in Western Asia, that, while but sic
* Since the above was put in type, we recollected, that the Rev. John Nicholayson arrived at Beyroot, in December 1825, as a missionary to the Jews. He is mentioned in one of the extracts on the following pages. We take this opportunity also to say, that in Šeptember last, the missionaries in Syria were favoted with a visit from the Rev. Mr. McPherson, Methodist missionary at Alexandria, in Egypt. The following extract from Mr. Goodell's notice of this visit, is made to show the catholic spirit which animates the labors of missionaries generally. “We had much sweet counsel with this brother, and the benefits of his visit, we trust, are mutual. He certainly was the means of refreshing our spirits, and he himself appeared greatly encouraged by what he saw of the work of God amongst us.”-Ed
gears have elapsed, since a protestant mission was first attempted on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean, not a single protestant missionary has resided there so long as three years. It should be remarked, also, that these missionaries have been obliged to spend much of their time in acquiring various and difficult languages, and in travelling through the country, spying out the land, and becoming acquainted with its people. Travellers, indeed, there had been in Palestine, before them; but none of these travellers explored the country with reference to missionary operations. Hence, with respect to the country and its inhabitants, the best sites for missionary stations, the most assailable points of attack, and the best modes of operation; our missionaries have had almost every thing to iearn.—The death of Mr. Fisk, too, after he had gone through the land, formed his opinions of the people, acquired their languages, and gained to some extent their confidence, was a most mysterious and disheartening event: it greatly diminished the moral power of the mission. The intelligence now to be given, will show, that, notwithstanding the shortness of the time since the mission was established—notwithstanding the fewness of the missionaries, and the many embarrassments under which they have been compelled to labor—notwithstanding that, according to any ordinary mode of calculation, the time has not come to expect any great and visible effects, as the consequence of their labors;*—yet, as will be seen, their labors have produced very considerable results. Our readers are aware, that the nominally Christian church of Western Asia, (for it is little better than nominally Christian,) is divided into a number of sects. The principal of these sects are the Greek, Armenian, Syrian, Nestorian, and Roman Catholic. The Catholic is subdivided; and the more important subdivisions, with which the missionaries of the Board have come into actual contact, are the Maronite, and a Catholic branch of the ancient Greek church.t The sects, upon which the missionaries are exerting the strongest influence, are the Maromites, who are Catholics, and the Armenians, who have no connexion with the Catholic church. Asaad Shidiak, whose ingenious and interesting statement of his religious experience,
*see this subject more fully illustrated at pp. 212– 214 of the Missionary Herald for the last year.-Ed.
+See an account of these and other sects, abridged from Jowett's Researches, at pp.92, 126, 164, of the Missionary Herald, vol. xxii.-Ed.
opinions, and controversies, occupies a portion of the last and of the present numbers of this work, belonged to the Marcmite church, until his eyes were opened by the Scriptures to the errors and corruptions of that denomination. Asaad Jacob, whose letter to the Corresponding Secretary, in imperfect English, was inserted in the number for January of the present year, belongs to the ancient Greek church. Another short letter from him has lately been received, by the Secretary, and will appear at a future time. The missionaries have hope concerning a member of the Greek Catholic church, whose name is Yooseph Leflufy, that he has become truly pious, and from principle will join the little company of reformers. To these we add a priest and an archbishop of the Armenian church, both of whom are now to be numbered with the friends and followers of the Lord Jesus: and another archbishop of the Armenian church, whose understanding has so far been convinced, that he co-operates with the missionaries in their work of reformation, and gives some ground to hope, that ere long he may be with them in heart, as well as in action. The priest is spoken of by Mr. Goodell under the name of Wortabet. He is a young man, who left the Armenian convent at Jerusalem, about two years ago, thoughtless, and without settled principle. Entering the service of Mr. Goodell, as literary assistant, he of course had many conversations with that missionary, and received much instruction. Until last summer, however, no strong hold seems to have been taken on his conscience. But then he became deeply serious, and began in earnest to seek for true religion in the heart, which there is much reason to believe he has obtained. The name of the archbishop is Dionysius. He is familiarly called Garabet or Carabet, an Armenian word signifying a forerunner, which was given him, at his own request, by Mr. Goodell, in the hope that he might prove, as he seems likely to do, the forerunner of great good to his nation. He was born at Constantinople; spent 36 years of his life in the Armenian convent at Jerusalem, the last nine of which he was bishop; and for a long time was principal secretary to the establishment. He is now about 50 years old; and on account of his age, his services, his acquirements, and his general standing, is considered as sustaining in his church the rank of an archbishop, and in his official documents, subscribes him