Times and Seasons, 15 July 1842

  • Source Note
Page 852
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this position, that an honest and faithful examination of the subject is all that is required to expel every doubt from the heart.
The customs and manners of the people of the east are so similar to what they were in the days of our Saviour, that almost everything which the traveller beholds is a standing illustration of some portion of scripture: for example, I saw two women grinding wheat at a little hand-mill, consisting of two small stones with a little rude tackling about it, the whole of which one man might take in his arms and carry almost any where at pleasure. One would turn the top stone until her strength was exhausted, and then the other would take her place, and so alternately keep the little grinder in operation. It appears that our Lord foresaw the perpetuity of this custom, even to the time of his second coming; for he said, “Two women shall be grinding at the mill; one shall be taken and the other left; and for ought I know, these two I saw were the identical ones. I also saw the people take a kind of coarse grass and mix it with some kind of earth or peat that had been wet and reduced to the consistency of common mortar, and then lay it out in flattened cakes to dry for fuel. I then, for the first time in my life, saw the propriety of our Saviour’s allusion. “If God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, &c.” I might swell this letter to a volume upon these subjects, but I forbear for the present. One may read of the customs of the east, but it is not like seeing them. To read of a good dinner may brighten up a man’s ideas about eating, especially if he be a little hungry; but to sit down at the luxurious board and eat is far more satisfactory. The two cases are not exactly parallel, yet the latter serves to illustrate the former.
As I walked about the environs of the , my spirit struggled within me in earnest prayer to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that he would not only revolutionize this country, but renovate and make it glorious, My heart would lavish its blessings upon it in the greatest prodigality in view of what is to come hereafter. After returning to the , I found my feet and legs completely coated with dust; for the whole face of the country was like an ash bed in consequence of the great length of the dry season. I then thought how very convenient it must have been for the ancient disciples to fulfil one injunction of the Saviour, “shake off the dust of your feet”
Syria at present is in a very unsettled state. The Drewzes and Catholics are fighting almost constantly. They sometimes kill hundreds and hundreds of a day. In some sections it is not unfrequent that the traveller meets some dozen or twenty men by the way-side without heads, in a day. In a letter from Bavaria, I stated that hostilities had re-commenced between the Turks and Egyptians; I took the statement from a German paper, but it was a mistake. The hostilities were between the lesser tribes in Syria. The American missionaries at Beyrout and Mount Lebanon have received official notice through Commodore Porter, our minister to Constantinople, from the Grand Sultan, that hereafter they can have no redress by law for any violence, outrage, or cruelty, that may be practiced upon them by the people; and advises them to leave the country. This course is approved of by Commodore Porter. I read the correspondence between him and Mr. Chassan, our consul at Beyrout; but all is going on in the Providence of God. Syria and Palestine must ferment and ferment, work and work, until they work into the hands of Abraham’s children to whom they rightly belong; and may the God of their fathers bless the hand that aids their cause,
I must now begin to think of coming to a close, I have nearly three weeks yet to remain in quarantine. The time seems long; yet I endeavor not to let it run to waste.— When our ship shall have obtained her prattique, I shall proceed, if the Lord will, directly to Germany over the Alps, and try to light up a fire there. Will you give me your prayers that God may bless my exertions, and that I may be enabled to conduct myself with dignity and propriety in all things which become a man of God, and which the purity and virtue of the cause I advocate, so justly merits; and further, that in my great weakness celestial strength may appear.
My kind respects to the presidency of the church, and a happy new year to all absent and enquiring friends.
With the most kind and tender feelings towards you, and with a heart that will burst with blessings on your heads when your faces I behold, allow your unworthy brother in Christ to close by the following lines which he offers you as a farewell token until Providence shall permit us again to meet:—
Where the sun leaves his last golden ray,
Far over the sea’s swelling tide,
Will friends dear and true for me pray,
That I in the Lord may abide?
Though distance and time do us part, [p. 852]
this position, that an honest and faithful examination of the subject is all that is required to expel every doubt from the heart.
The customs and manners of the people of the east are so similar to what they were in the days of our Saviour, that almost everything which the traveller beholds is a standing illustration of some portion of scripture: for example, I saw two women grinding wheat at a little hand-mill, consisting of two small stones with a little rude tackling about it, the whole of which one man might take in his arms and carry almost any where at pleasure. One would turn the top stone until her strength was exhausted, and then the other would take her place, and so alternately keep the little grinder in operation. It appears that our Lord foresaw the perpetuity of this custom, even to the time of his second coming; for he said, “Two women shall be grinding at the mill; one shall be taken and the other left; and for ought I know, these two I saw were the identical ones. I also saw the people take a kind of coarse grass and mix it with some kind of earth or peat that had been wet and reduced to the consistency of common mortar, and then lay it out in flattened cakes to dry for fuel. I then, for the first time in my life, saw the propriety of our Saviour’s allusion. “If God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, &c.” I might swell this letter to a volume upon these subjects, but I forbear for the present. One may read of the customs of the east, but it is not like seeing them. To read of a good dinner may brighten up a man’s ideas about eating, especially if he be a little hungry; but to sit down at the luxurious board and eat is far more satisfactory. The two cases are not exactly parallel, yet the latter serves to illustrate the former.
As I walked about the environs of the , my spirit struggled within me in earnest prayer to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that he would not only revolutionize this country, but renovate and make it glorious, My heart would lavish its blessings upon it in the greatest prodigality in view of what is to come hereafter. After returning to the , I found my feet and legs completely coated with dust; for the whole face of the country was like an ash bed in consequence of the great length of the dry season. I then thought how very convenient it must have been for the ancient disciples to fulfil one injunction of the Saviour, “shake off the dust of your feet”
Syria at present is in a very unsettled state. The Drewzes and Catholics are fighting almost constantly. They sometimes kill hundreds and hundreds of a day. In some sections it is not unfrequent that the traveller meets some dozen or twenty men by the way-side without heads, in a day. In a letter from Bavaria, I stated that hostilities had re-commenced between the Turks and Egyptians; I took the statement from a German paper, but it was a mistake. The hostilities were between the lesser tribes in Syria. The American missionaries at Beyrout and Mount Lebanon have received official notice through Commodore Porter, our minister to Constantinople, from the Grand Sultan, that hereafter they can have no redress by law for any violence, outrage, or cruelty, that may be practiced upon them by the people; and advises them to leave the country. This course is approved of by Commodore Porter. I read the correspondence between him and Mr. Chassan, our consul at Beyrout; but all is going on in the Providence of God. Syria and Palestine must ferment and ferment, work and work, until they work into the hands of Abraham’s children to whom they rightly belong; and may the God of their fathers bless the hand that aids their cause,
I must now begin to think of coming to a close, I have nearly three weeks yet to remain in quarantine. The time seems long; yet I endeavor not to let it run to waste.— When our ship shall have obtained her prattique, I shall proceed, if the Lord will, directly to Germany over the Alps, and try to light up a fire there. Will you give me your prayers that God may bless my exertions, and that I may be enabled to conduct myself with dignity and propriety in all things which become a man of God, and which the purity and virtue of the cause I advocate, so justly merits; and further, that in my great weakness celestial strength may appear.
My kind respects to the presidency of the church, and a happy new year to all absent and enquiring friends.
With the most kind and tender feelings towards you, and with a heart that will burst with blessings on your heads when your faces I behold, allow your unworthy brother in Christ to close by the following lines which he offers you as a farewell token until Providence shall permit us again to meet:—
Where the sun leaves his last golden ray,
Far over the sea’s swelling tide,
Will friends dear and true for me pray,
That I in the Lord may abide?
Though distance and time do us part, [p. 852]
Page 852