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of the congregation dated in 1772, we learn that from the beginning of the mission to that year, seven hundred and twenty Indians had been added to the church of Christ by holy baptism, most of whom departed this life, rejoicing in God their Saviour. I would willingly add the number of those converted to the Lord since that period, but as the church-books and other writings of the Missionaries were burnt, when they were taken prisoners on the Muskingum in 1781, I cannot speak with cer. iainty. Supposing even that from 1772 to 1787 the long standing of the mission, and the great pains and sufferings of the Missionaries, the flock collected was very small. The reason of this may be found, partly in the peculiar character of the Indian nations, but chiefly in this, that the Missionaries did not so much endeavour to gather a large number of baptized heathen, as to lead souls to Christ; who should truly believe on and live unto him. This small flock is, however, large enough to be a light of the Lord, shining unto many heathen nations for the elernal salvation of their immortal souls."
We cannot, froin the limits we have prescribed for these numbers enier into a detailed account of the mission in ques. tion. We shall, therefore, in this number give a summary view of the most interesting events of the mission in reference to the Christian experience of the believing Indians, deaths, &c. and the next number will close our narrative in regard to this subject, with a brief account of the horrid murder of a part of the Indian congregation on the Tuscarawas, a branch of the Muskingum river.
Tschoop, an outrageous Indian, who had even made himself a cripple by debauchery, was awakened through the ministry of Christian Henry Rauch. Some time after he related the manner of his conversion as follows:-"Brethren, I have been a heathen and have grown old among the heathen; therefore I know how heathen think. Once a preacher came and be gan to explain to us, that there was a God. We answered, • Dost thou think us so ignorant as not to know that? Go back to the place from whence thou camest. Then again another preacher came and began to teach us and to say, “ You must not steal, nor lie, nor get drunk,” &c. We answered thou fool, dost thou think that we don't know that. Learn first thyself, and then teach the people to whom thou belongest to leave off these things. For who steals and lies, or who is more drunk. en than thy own people? And thus we dismissed him.Brother Christian Henry Rauch came into my hut, and sat down by me.
He spoke to me nearly as follows,-"I come to you in the name of the Lord of heaven and of earth: He sends to let you know, that he will make you happy, and deliver you from the misery in which you lie at present. To this end he
became a man, gave his life a ransom for man, and shed his blood for him," &c. &c. When he had finished his discourse, he lay down upon a board, fatigued by the journey, and fell into a sound sleep. I then thought, what kind of a man is this? There he lies and sleeps. I might kill him and throw him out into the wood, and who would regard it? But this gives him no concern. However, I could not forget his words. They continually occurred to my mind. Even when I was asleep, I dreamt of that blood which Christ shed for us. I found this to be something different from what I had ever heard, and I interpreted Christian Henry's words to the other Indians. Thus through the grace of God, an awakening took place among us. I say therefore brethren, preach Christ our Saviour, his sufferings and death, if you would have your words to gain entrance among the heathen." Tschoop was among the first fruits of the mission, professed to be converted about the year 1740, and dictated an interesting letter on the occasion, addressed to the brethren in Pennsylvania. He wrote from Shekmeho on the North-run, in Connecticut.
Nicodemus was baptized in Dec. 1742. He had been ex. ceeded by none in the practice of evil, and given to drunken
On hearing the word of the cross, he was one of the first who experienced its saving power. In his walk and conversation he was an example to all. From a turbulent spirit he became patient, lowly and humble in heart, but strong in faith. He was appointed elder of the congregation at Gnaddenhullen, on which place he departed this life, in August, 1748. He was figurative in speech, highly instructive and useful. Once looking at a mill at Gnaddenhutten, he addressed a Missionary, “ Brother," said he, “I discover something that rejoices my heart, I have seen the great wheel, and many little ones; every one was in motion, and seemed all alive, but suddenly all stopped, and the mill was as dead. I then thought, surely all depends upon wheel, if the water runs upon that, every thing else is alive, but when that ceases to flow, all appears dead. Just so it is with my heart, it is dead as the wheel; but as soon as Jesu's blood flows upon it, it gets life and sets every thing in motion, and the whole man being governed by it, it becomes evident that there is life throughout; but when the heart is removed from the crucified Jesus, it dies gradually, and at length all life ceases."
"In May, 1749, many of the Indians of Gnaddenhutten went to Bethlehem to see three Christian Greenlanders who were relurning to their native country, conducted by a Missionary, Maithew Stach. There were at the same time in Bethlehem a boy and a young Indian woman from Berbice in South-America, so that the brethren there had the satisfaction to see heathera
of three different nations and languages, namely Arawacks living in the 6th, Mahikians and Delawares in ihe 41st, and Greenlanders in the 65th degree of north latitude."
In the year 1780 at Salem, a sermon preached upon our Saviour's parable of the sower, gave occasion to many to examine their hearts. A Missionary speaking to an Indian brother previous to the Lord's Supper, addressed him thus, “ Tell me how is your heart disposed at present.”. He replied: "You could not have asked me a more agreeable question; I am ready to answer it every day, and if you was even to awake me at night, I should want no time to consider, for my Saviour has given me such an heart, that I am as willing to lay my wants and deficiences open to my brethren, as to describe the happiness I enjoy."
About this time an Indian that came from the banks of the Mississippi observed, “ Thus have I roved about till I am grown old and grey. I have taken great pains to find something prof. itable to myself and children, but have not found any thing good. With you I find at once all I wanted; and the cause of my staying so long is, that I may hear as much as possible, and have something to relate to my countrymen on my return."
An heathen Shawnee said, “When I came here and heard you speak of the wretchedness and depravity of the buman heart, I thought, -Well, said I, God grant the believing Indians begin to mend their lives, for they seem to be a very bad people. I am not so wicked, and commit no sins, but please my God. I serve him and sacrifice enough. But lately I was convinced at your chapel, that I am a very sinful man, and that it is exactly in my heart as in that old basket (pointing to an old basket full of rubbish.) He then began to weep aloud. Some time after he was baptized into the death of Jesus, being the first of the Shawnees at that time, added to the Christian church. Ever since his baptism the death and sufferings of Jesus were so precious to him that he spoke of them to all who visited him, telling them, that he was no more afraid of death, being assured that his soul was redeemed and saved by the death of the Saviour.
The labour of the Holy Ghost, was more particularly per. ceptible in the sick and dying. A sick girl six years old, said with tears," I now desire nothing more in this world, but to be baptized and cleansed by the blood of Jesus, to whom I wish to depart." Her request was granted to her great joy.
An Indian woman, to whom holy baptism was administered on her death bed, could not sleep the following night for joy, and said, “I now wish the sooner the better to depart to Christ, and do not desire to recover." The day before she died, she asked, “What can make our Saviour delay, that he does not
take me to himself ?” She was assured that he would soon grant her request. The day following she exclaimed: “Now he appears," and soon after expired.
A boy of eight years old lately baptized, sent sboruly before his departure for a Missionary, and said, “Now I shall depart, , but what dress shall I put on ?"i Brother Z. answered, “ you have put on the right dress in holy baptism, when you were clothed with the blood and righteousness of Christ Jesus your Saviour: you want no other dress.” The boy replied, “ True, O how do I rejoice !” and during brother Z's prayer he departed gently and happily.
THEOPHILUS ARMENIUS. Feb. 2, 1820.
(To be Continued.)
ACCOUNT OF THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF THE WORK OF GOD IN LOUISIANA, IN A LETTER FROM MR. D. DE VINNE TO
Nouvelle Iberia, (La.) March 20, 1820. DEAR BRETHREN,
At a time when the Christian world is endeavouring to disseminate religious knowledge, and every page of Missionary intelligence is read with more than ordinary attention; perhaps a sketch of the rise, progress and present state of Methodism on the west of the Mississippi might not be uninteresting 10 some of your numerous readers; especially if they consider the peculiar situation of the country, so remotely separated from the body of Christians; of a considerable, but widely scattered population, and mostly inhabited by those who speak another language, and were generally opposed to the doctrines of the reformation. Although we lainent that so sew have believed our report, and that iniquity so generally abounds, yet that God should in any measure bless our feeble endeavours, and get to himself a name and a praise, even at this remote out-post, we feel abundantly thankful; and with rejoicing, do ascribe to his name the praise and glory.
Shortly after the cession of Louisiana to the United States, a concern was excited in the Western Conference, for the la. mentable state of the inhabitants of this new acquisition; and brother Elisha W. Bowman volunteered to explore and search out the American settlements. On entering bis sphere of labour, he found what might be expected, where Christian institutions were neglected; where the gospel in its purity had nev. er extended, and where a copy of the Holy Scriptures had
scarcely ever appeared beyond the desk of the priesthood. Intemperance, profanity, and a want of moral bonesty, were but too prevalent, and the sabbaths were regarded only as days of public business or amusements. Those who did not work on the Lord's day, were generally engaged in gaming, racing, hunting, attendance on balls, or similar diversions. The French of education were either professed Catholics or real disciples of the French philosophy, and the illiterate were extremely ignorant, not understanding any system, not even that in which they professed to believe. Nor did many of the American emigrants, who had been instructed in better things, teach them other precepts, or set them an example worthy of imitation. Being des. titute of the public means of grace, they readily forgot their former scruples, easily fell in with the current of the times, and, in many instances, even excelled the natives in profanity and dissipation.
In this state of affairs, he passed into this extensive field, the moral and religious state of which was wild indeed; stopping in the settlements, and making known bis mission, he was in some places received as the messenger of Heaven, and a ready door was opened to preach the word : at other places, he was subjected to every inconvenience, and when no place was found for public instruction, he taught from house lo house. In this manner he visited many of the English settlements on the west of the river. What he suffered in these great and perilous labours will be readily conceived. But the great Head of the church who promised to be with his disciples, always even unto the end of the world," did not suffer him to return without seeing some fruit of his labour. Congregations were formed, members who had removed from the older states were again reclaimed and received, and some who had lived in sin were hopefully brought from the power of Satan to God. The following year he was joined by brother Thomas Lastley; they still kept in operation ihe former plan, and finally forined two extensive circuits.In 1811 an additional circuit was formed and supplied by another labourer. In 1813, at the formation of the Mississippi Conference, this part of the work was set off into a separate district, and has since been regularly supplied from the members of that Conference.
This itinerating ministry has been subjected to difficulties of no ordinary kind. The neighbourhoods being so remotely separated, the rides consequently must have been very long; and the roads between their appointments sometimes lying through miry swainps or extensive marshes; and not unfrequently interrupted by deep water-courses, through which they were obliged to swim. And these rides must be daily, in order to reach the very distant appointments, which brought them into