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the subject, or, I should say, occasion of my present letter; for among the many other pleasures which you have made me capable of enjoying, it is not the least that I have been able to read and relish with great satisfaction the little manuscript which I trust you receive with this. It is, in my opinion, a valuable treasure, a rich gem, which when polished under your hands may and will, I doubt not, shine in your nation, and do great good in the service of God. For I send it not to you, my dear friend, solely as a curiosity, or for your own emolument and advantage-its contents are no secret to you-but I send it that you may disperse it among the people if you judge it proper and worthy; translating it from the Greek, for which I know not any one better capacitated than yourself: and as I am assured you have not any great veneration for destroying your time in hard guesses after disfigured antiquity, I take the liberty to refer you with my compliments, to my very learned friend Dr. ***, for the explaining or rather unriddling such passages as time hath obliterated in this ancient manuscript. The manner of its falling into my hands had something extraordinary and peculiar in it. You may remember I determined on my departure from England to visit the islands of the Egean sea, once so celebrated in classic story; and once too (some of them) blessed with the glorious light of the gospel; though now-unhappy change!-involved in night, and buried in worse than darkness. I had al
ready visited some, which are at present nothing but barren rocks and uncultivated sands; and can you wonder that I had an inclination to tread on that soil where the blessed feet of the beloved St. John once trod, and to see that desert Patmos, to which the favorite of our Lord was banished? Surely no: to say the truth, I longed ardently and with an uncommon desire, to see that place, where amidst the labours of the mines, his soul was so filled with. spiritual comforts, as to look up into the Heaven of Heavens, and to compose that divine and glorious book of Revelation! and the longings of my soul were accomplished. But, oh! my friend, the fragility of human bliss, to which all things are ever more pleasing in expection than enjoyment!—a lively hint, as you happily observe, of the immortality of our souls; for when with great, difficulty I had gained the shore, what was there to infuse one pleasing idea, what to fill the soul with one cheering reflection? Barren rocks and dreary sand surrounding, and the whole island wearing the face of misery and dessolation. However I was determined to take a survey of the island, as is always my custom; and, with three attendants from the ship, I ascended a lofty rock to have a more exact view of the place; but how unexpectedly and agreeably was I surprised at seeing three or four homely cots at the bottom, in a very pleasant valley, shaded with tall pines and watered with a fine crystal rivulet. As there seemed nothing to fear, and as my curiosity was
greatly raised, I resolved to postpone my draught of the island that I might hasten to inform myself of the state and character of the inhabitants below. Throwing our carbines over our shoulders, we walked leisurely down the valley; into which we had no sooner entered, than calling aloud and putting ourselves in a posture of defence, we waited for a reply or for the appearance of some of the inhabitants; when behold! from the highest shade which yet was so low as to teach us, in Shakespeare's fine language, to adore and bow to holy office; when I say from the middle of the highest shade, out walked the most venerable and august figure I ever beheld. On his appearance, we immediately grounded our arms and bowed with the greatest respect. He returned our compliment in the most graceful manner, and advanced with slow and composed air toward us. His head was silvered over with locks white as the mountain snow, and his long graceful beard was of the same hue: his countenance was open, though serious; invitingly cheerful, at the same time majestically grave
-he had on a long brown robe, sandals on his feet —and in his hand a scroll, on which he seemed to be meditating when disturbed by our unexpected' approach. I addressed him in the most courteous manner I was able in Latin, French, English, Spanish and Portuguese; to all which he replied only in modern and ancient Greek, informing me (as I' could with difficulty understand,) that they and the Hebrew, were the only languages he had
a knowledge of. Oh! how then did I regret the loss of not being able to converse in the Greek tongue! a language which, though I can read tolerably well, yet never having learned it as a living language, or as if it was intended for me to express my thoughts in. I found here the great defect of my own as well as our country's education --that we are taught these languages solely from books, and not as if we were designed ever to use them ourselves. The good man expressed: much uneasiness that we could not converse; he however invited us to his little cot, and seating us on a turfy seat which he had made around it, gave me to understand by repeating his words frequently over, that for the profession of christianity, to which he had been amazingly converted by casually meeting with the New Testament, he had been banished from his native country, after having suffered many grievous torments there, and placed on this island with some few necessaries of life, where he had now spent a whole year in the utmost felicity; the adoration of his God being almost his whole employ, save the little labor of procuring food; the Holy Scriptures, which he had kept with him, his constant meditation; and the contemplation of his dying Redeemer's love, a source of never ending happiness, a fountain of unexhausted peace and joy! I offered by signs in the best manner I was able, to redeem him from. this banishment, and bring him back to the world
for which he bowed and thanked me, but gave.
me to understand that he was perfectly contented