Essay on the Propagation
of the Gospel (2nd ed.)
Philadelphia: James Humphreys, 1801
THE SECOND EDITION.
By CHARLES CRAWFORD, Esq.
PRINTED, AND SOLD BY JAMES HUMPHREYS.
[ 3 ]
It seems to be at this time required of the disciples of Christ, that there should not be a nation from the north to the south pole, without having the gospel preached to them. "How beautiful (saith the scripture) are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" The principal places, however, where the gospel might at this time be propagated with great prospect of success, are in America, among the Indians, and in Africa, among the Negroes, and others.
There is a strong argument in favor of the Indians being converted to christianity, their being descended from the Jews. St. Paul says that "all Israel shall be saved." As this is a subject of great importance, it may be necessary to give it considerable attention. --
The aborigines of America were probably the descendants of Noah, that is, America was first peopled by the sons of Noah, before the division of the globe. The sons of Noah are said to have wandered over the earth. We read in the 25th verse of the 10th chapter of Genesis, of Peleg, that "in his days was the earth divided." The Hebrew word Peleg signifies a division. It is a strong argument in favor of the division of the globe being a fact of great notoriety, that a man of eminence obtained his name from the circumstance. From the Timaeus of Plato it appears, that the Greeks had some idea of this event. * If we look at a map of the world, we shall think it highly probable, that the Weft India Islands have been separated
* Plato in his Timaeus says, it was reported there was formerly an Island in the Atlantic, beyond the Pillars of Hercules, greater than Africa and Asia. Me says that in a vast earthquake the earth opened, and swallowed up its warlike inhabitants, and the island itself was sunk in an enormous whirlpool.
See Plato's Works, printed at Lyons, in 1590. Folio. Page 525,
"And where th' Atlantic rolls wide continents have bloom'd." -- Beattle's Minstrel.
by a great convulsion of nature, from the continent of America. Carver in his travels says, that at Beering's Straits (which are now sometimes called Cook's Straits) the continents of Asia and America, on both sides, appear as if they had formerly been united.
Afterwards it is probable that America was further peopled by the Ten Tribes, who were taken captive by Shalmaneser, King of Assyria. We read, in 2 Kings, 17; 6; that "in the ninth year of Hosea, the King of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria; and placed them in Halah and in Habor, by the river of Gozan, and the cities of the Medes." It is said "There was none left but the tribe of Judah only." I conceive, however, that in this, as well as several other passages of Scripture, the tribe of Benjamin, which was once nearly extirpated, is comprehended under that of Judah. -- From these two last tribes the Jews in Europe have principally descended: Or, to speak with more accuracy, from these two and the tribe of Levi. We generally speak of the twelve tribes of Israel, though in
reality there were thirteen. The land of Israel was divided into twelve parts for the twelve tribes, and the tribe of Levi had no part nor inheritance with their brethren. By the Mosaic law they were to receive, instead, certain parts of things that were sacrificed, and the first fruit of Corn, Wine, Oil, &c.
It is said in Esdras * (which though it may contain some idle visions, has some truths) that, "the Ten Tribes which Were carried away prisoners out of their own land, took counsel among themselves that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go into a further country." It is said they went into a country called Arsareth, or Ararath, which in Hebrew signifies "the curse of trembling." Sir William Jones, in his account of the Afghans, in the Asiatic Researches, which account is also printed in his own works, observes, they are said by the best Persian Historians to be descended from the Jews." He says they have a district: called Hazareh or Hazaret, which might easily
* 2 Esdras, Chap, xiii.
have been changed into the word used by Esdras.
It is probable that a part of the Ten Tribes remained in the country, where they were carried near Habor (which is now called Tabor) and that the Tartars are their defendants. It is mentioned in Aaron Hill's Travels that the Tartars had a town called Jericho, and that the name of their capital Samaryan (or Samarcand) is very little different from Samaria. It is said they had a Mount Sion, and a river Jordan; with many pillars, buildings and reliques of antiquity which were evidently Jewish monuments. The Tartars * boast of their descent from the Jews. Some Moravian Missionaries who have been
* "Tamerlain, or rather Tam-ber-lane the great, who led the Turkish Bajazet about his city in an iron cage, would often take occasion to be vaunting of his pedigree, affirming he was lineally descended from the tribe of Dan, in an uninterrupted Genealogy."
See "the present state of Aethiopia, Egypt, Palestine and the whole Ottoman Empire." By Aaron Hill Esq. Folio, page 331. London printed, 1709.
at Mount Caucasus in Tartary, and in North America, say there are people at Caucasus, who speak a language similar to that of some American Indians. -- The Tartars are divided into tribes, and practise circumcision.
A part of the Ten Tribes may have continued in Arsareth, as well as Tartary, and a part may have past over from the continent of Asia to that of America, at Beering's or Cook's Straits. -- It is said in Ledyard's account of Captain Cook's voyage, that these Straits are but fourteen leagues over; about twice the breadth of the Straits of Dover. It is mentioned in Cook's last voyage that there are some Islands, named Diomede, about the middle of these Straits, which are alternately visited by the inhabitants of both continents. Many have gone from one continent to the other in open boats.
An interesting work was published in London in 1775, entitled, "History of the American Indians, particularly those nations adjoining the Mississippi, East and West Florida, Georgia,
South and North Carolina, and Virginia, by James Adair, Esq. a trader with the Indians, and resident in their country for forty years."
Mr. Adair endeavours to prove by 23 arguments that some of the Indians are the descendants of the Jews. "1. Their division into tribes; 2. Their worship of Jehovah; 3. Their notions of theocracy; 4. Their belief in the ministration of angels; 5. Their language and dialects; 6. Their manner of counting time; 7. Their Prophets and high Priests; 8. Their festivals, fasts, and religious rites; 9. Their daily sacrifice; 10. Their ablutions and anointings; 11. Their laws of uncleanness; 12. Their abstinence from unclean things; 13. Their marriages, divorces and punishments; 15. Their cities of refuge; 16. Their purifications, and ceremonies preparatory to war; 17. Their ornaments; 18. Their manner of curing the sick; 19. Their burial of the dead; 20. Their mourning for their dead; 21. Their raising seed to a deceased brother; 22. Their
choice of names; 23. Their own traditions."
It has been supposed there are many visionary notions in Mr. Adair's work. If we were to grant there are some, we might contend and prove there are many things observed by him, and corroborated by others, which indisputably manifest the descent of the Indians from the Jews. -- The descent in my opinion would be clearly proved, if they could only establish two points, and they can establish many more, the separation of their women at a certain time by the Indians, and their dance in which they sing Hallelujah Yo-he-wah. We know the former custom to prevail universally, and the latter frequently among the Indians particularised by Mr. Adair. Must not the first custom have sprung from a higher source than the indelicate mind of a Savage, and could they have found Hebrew words in the Desart?
Mr. Adair supposes the practice of circumcision must have declined among the Indians, from the loss of their sharp knives as they passed through the Desart.
In a curious and learned pamphlet, however, published in London in 1650, entitled, "Jewes in America, or probabilities that the Americans are Jewes, proposed by Thomas Thorowgood, B. D. one of the Assembly of Divines" the author observes "Grotius says confidently, we have so many witnesses that the Americans be circumcised, as it becomes not a modest man to deny it; and among the rarities brought from those quarters Pancillorus speaks of stoney knives very sharpe and cutting, and his illustrator, H. Salmuth, shews that the Jewes of old did use such in their circumcisings, knives of stone: * which sacrament omitted forty years in their travels, is revived by God's command to Joshua, 5; 2; Make thee sharpe knives, cultros petrinos. Arias Montanus reads cultros lapideos in the Vulgar Latine, but the Septuagint doth not only mention those rockey knives, but adds, taken from a sharpe rocke, as if the allusion also
* "Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son." Exodus, iv; 25.
so were to Christ the Rocke that doth circumcise our hearts. Lerius affirms he saw some of those cutting stones or knives at Brazil." pages, 9 and 10.
William Penn says of the natives of Pennsylvania, "For their original I am ready to believe them of the Jewish race, I mean of the stock of the Ten Tribes, and that for the following reasons: First they were to go to a land not planted or known, which to be sure Asia and Africa were, if not Europe; and He that intended that extraordinary judgment upon them might make the passage not uneasy to them, as it is not impossible in itself from the eastern-most parts of Asia to the westernmost of America. In the next place I find them of like countenance, and their children of so lively resemblance, that a man would think himself in Duke's Place or Berry Street, in London, when he seeth them. But this is not all, they agree in Rites; they reckon by Moons, they offer their first-fruits, they have a kind of feast of Tabernacles, they are said to lay their Altar upon twelve stones; their mourning a year, customs of women,
with many things that do not now occur." See a general description of Pennsylvania by William Penn.
It is curious and pleasing in reading the travels of those who have been among the Indians, to find how the customs of the Indians comport frequently with the laws of Moses. These customs are sometimes faithfully described by men who have no supposition that any of the American Indians are the descendants of the Ten Tribes.
David Brainerd in his Journal says, "visited the Indians at Juneauta Island (Pennsylvania) and found them almost universally busy in making preparations for a great sacrifice and dance.
"In the evening they met together, near a hundred of them, and danced round a large fire, having prepared ten fat deer for the sacrifice, the fat of whose inwards they burnt in the fire while they were dancing.
"They continued their sacred dance all night or near the matter, after
which they ate the flesh of the sacrifice."
In Leviticus it is said "The fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards. The Priest shall burn them upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire, for a sweet savour. All fat is the Lord's. It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations, throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood." See Leviticus, latter part of the third chapter. Isaiah also speaks to the Jewish nation "of the fat of thy sacrifices." 43; 24.
Mr. Samuel Hearne printed a work in London, in 1795, entitled "A Journey from Prince of Wales's Fort in Hudson's Bay, to the Northern Ocean." He says the northern Indians have a dance in which they sing Hee-Hee -- Hoe-Hoe; which must originally have been the same with that of the southern Indians in which they sing Hallelujah Yo-he-wah. He says the northern Indians so rigidly exact the separation of their women at a certain time, that if
at that time a woman only comes across them when they are hunting they think it a bad omen. He lays that after child-birth a northern Indian woman is reckoned unclean for a month or five weeks; during which time me always remains in a small tent placed at a little distance from the others, with only a female acquaintance or two." Page 93. -- By the Mosaic law a woman who bore a child, was to be unclean, and separated many days. -- Leviticus, chap. xii.
Mr. Hearne says "among the various superstitious customs of those people (the northern Indians) it is worthy remarking, and ought to have been mentioned in its proper place, that after my companions had killed the Esquimaux at the Copper River, they considered themselves in a state of uncleanness, which induced them to practise some very curious and unusual ceremonies. In the first place all who were concerned in the murder were prohibited from cooking any kind of victuals, either for themselves or others." Page 205.
We read in the Prophet Haggai "If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of (bread or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat) shall it be unclean? And the Priests answered and said, it shall be unclean." Haggai ii; 12, 13.
Mr. Hearne says "They refrained also from eating many parts of the deer, and other animals, particularly the head, entrails and blood; and during their uncleanness, their victuals are never sodden in water, but dried in the sun, eaten quite raw, or broiled when a fire fit for the purpose could be procured." Page 206. -- It is said in the first of Samuel "Also before they burnt the fat, the Priest's servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, give flesh to roast for the Priest; for he will net have sodden flesh of thee, but raw." 2; 15.
Charlevoix says of the Hurons and Iroquois Indians, "the husband when the wife happens to die first, is obliged to marry her sister, or in default of her, such person as the family of the deceased shall chuse for him. -- The wife on
her part is under the same obligation with respect to the husband's relations, provided he dies without leaving any children by her, and that me is still capable of bearing any. The reasons they alledge for this are the same as expressed in the 25th chapter of Deuteronomy." Vol. 2. Pages 48 and 49.
Charlevoix in his letters relative to North America, says "The notion of an universal deluge is very general among the Americans," meaning the Indians: Vol. 2, page 144. He says the Indians have an avenger of blood, like the ancient Jews; which is also asserted by Mr. Adair and many others. An officer of rank in the American army told me the following story. He said he was once at Pittsburg, where he saw a party of Indians. Upon the arrival of another party of Indians in the town, one in the first party trembled, and shewed great signs of uneasiness. It was soon known that this agitation was occasioned by the appearance of an Indian in the second party, whose relation he had murdered. He surrendered himself without resistance to the demands of
justice. He was led to a stable and placed upon the ground between two Indians. His head was in this situation declined, when the Indian whose kinsman he had murdered, that avenger of blood, came into the stable with a considerable body of Indians, and putting his tomahawk into the head of the murderer with a yell, afterwards scalped it.
I think that scalping may have been practised by the Jews, from an expression in the 68th Psalm. "God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses." ver. 21. * By this I suppose to be meant, that the Almighty would do it by the Jews the instruments of his vengeance.
The fine expression of which the Indians
* I am aware of another custom that was used by the Jews upon the body of an enemy, (1 Samuel, 18; 27) But I think that scalping might also have been practised sometimes. A person of information, whose appointments led him to be frequently in the country of the Indians, told me, that the other custom is sometimes practised by the Indians, and that he has known them, in imitation of the Jews, to carry the amputated part in triumph.
are fond that "the Great Spirit loves a brave man" may have come from the Jews, whose Prophets represent the Almighty as being delighted with the exertion of valor in his cause. We know it to be intimated in scripture, that the courage of David in treading down the idolatrous and wicked nations around him, was a great cause of his being raised to the throne of Israel, and called "the man after God's own heart."
The author of an Essay, entitled, "Some Conjectures respecting the first peopling of America," in Carey's Museum for December 1791, vol. 2, page 262, says "Dr. Jonathan Edwards, some time ago, communicated to the Society of Arts in Connecticut, some ingenious observations on the language of Muhhekaneew Indians; shewing the extent of that language in North America, tracing the connection thereof with the Hebrew. Indeed it is no small proof of their Jewish descent, that the Mohegan language so nearly coincides with the Hebrew in the pronouns and persons, the prefixes and suffixes, in which it differs
from all the ancient and modern languages in Europe.
Some customs seem also well authenticated among some Indians that appear to be remains of the Jewish religion, as roasting a fawn, and eating it with blankets girded around them, and carefully not breaking a bone of it through religious devotion; which seems clearly to be the Hebrew Passover, though they cannot explain it, but say "their forefathers did so, and all good Indians ought to do so." Some of them also report that their forefathers had books to read. Another custom, in which they resemble the Jews is, "that they have women mourners for the dead, &c."
Some have supposed too many difficulties about the conversion of the Indians. The Moravians have frequently had great success in this matter. It is mentioned in Morse's Geography of the Moravians, "They began a mission among the Mahikan, Wampano, Delaware, Shawanoe, Nantikok, and other Indians, about fifty years ago, and were so successful as to add more than
one thousand fouls to the Christian Church by Baptism. Six hundred of those have died in the Christian faith; about 300 live with the missionaries near Lake Erie, and the rest are either dead or apostates in the wilderness." Vol. 1. Page 483. Edition of 1793.
A letter dated April 25th 1799, says, "two hundred miles North-west of Hartford (Connecticut) on the borders of the Indian nations, I am informed the Lord is pouring out his spirit plentifully. The aborigines flock to hear the gospel, and fall under the Word like Dagon before the Ark. Very large numbers have been added to the churches in the vicinity the last year."
In the state of Massachusetts, the Presbyterians have converted many of the Stockbridge Indians, one of whom, called the Rev. Mr. Occum, I heard preach to a large congregation in one of the Presbyterian meeting-houses in Philadelphia.
Mr. Bartram in his account of the Southern Indians makes it appear very
probable, that some of them might be easily converted. He says, "On the Sabbath day before I sat off I could not help observing the solemnity of the town, the silence and retiredness of the red inhabitants: but a very few of them were to be seen; the doors of their dwellings were shut, and if a child chanced to stray out, it was quickly drawn in again. I asked the meaning of this, and was immediately answered, that it being the white people's beloved day, they kept it religiously sacred to the Great Spirit." See Bartram's Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, east and west Florida. Page 457. -- He says of the Creek Indians, "They are just, honest, liberal, and hospitable to strangers; considerate, loving and affectionate to their wives and relations; industrious, frugal, temperate and persevering; charitable and forbearing." Page 490.
I once had an opportunity of seeing the King of the Choctaws, who told me, that his people were desirous of imitating the white people in the building of their houses and in every thing.
He appeared a sensible old man of no bad disposition. I frequently conversed with him, and supposed I had gained in some measure his esteem. The first origin of this I conceive to have happened from this circumstance. When I was once fitting at breakfast this Indian came into the room. Some of the company were inclined to laugh which I thought displeased him. I gravely brought him a chair, and procured the breakfast which he wished to be set beside him. Before he touched the breakfast, he rose up, and with uplifted hands and eyes, while he spread himself over the table, said a short grace. He did this, which I supposed to be giving thanks to the Great Spirit, in a becoming, solemn, and affecting manner. Some were near laughing at this, to which no prudent person could have felt the least inclination. From this time our acquaintance increased, and we always shook hands when we met with a cordiality which is seldom found in the world. I think the not laughing at the Indians, is one of the best methods to engage their esteem. those who are better acquainted with them than I, are of this opinion. And
it is certain that many of them dislike to laugh at, or in any manner to ridicule the white people. This turn for ridicule prevails frequently in the worst persons, and in those who are most worthy of ridicule themselves. The wise and good should be cautious of using ridicule. It sometimes imbitters the mind more than the worst injuries,
I remember a circumstance which gave me a favourable opinion of this Indian. To divert him, we had procured a shew-box (such as is frequently carried about in England to divert persons for a penny) with the pictures of Richmond-Hill, the Thuilleries, Porto Bello, &c. seen through a magnifying glass. I had shewn him several of the pictures, about twenty I think, when coming from behind the box, and making a very civil bow, he said that justice must be done, and began deliberately to count the pictures, the sight of which he said must be returned, picture for picture. The throne of the Choctaws had not taken away a common feeling towards others from his mind. -- He was
generally supposed able to bring ten thousand fighting men into the field; but General Washington, whose information was probably accurate in these matters, said, that he could only bring about five thousand. It would be worth while to those, who wish to propagate the gospel among the southern Indians, to be particularly attentive to this Chief, if he be yet living, or if he be dead, to the tribe or nation of the Choctaws; for I remember particularly well his telling me, that his people were very desirous of imitating the white people. He spoke a broken language, consisting of bad English and bad French, to me and the people in Philadelphia; a language, however, which I could sometimes very well understand.
The Jews scattered through the world are generally of opinion, that some of the Indians are the descendants of the Ten Tribes.
It might have a happy effect upon the Indians, if a missionary who understood their language, or through the medium of an interpreter, were to excite
their curiosity and admiration by telling them, that they were descended from the greatest people on earth, from the favourite nation of the Almighty, He might tell them of the wonderful deliverance of their forefathers from the tyranny of Pharoah, when the Great Spirit himself descended upon Mount Sinai, and gave the ten commandments, which were "written with the finger of God." The missionary might tell them of their forefathers, in the words of the Apostle, that "By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land; which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were compassed about seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. And what shall I more say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Sampson, and of Jeptha, of David also and Samuel, and of the Prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped
the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valient in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens." Hebrews, xi; 29-34.
The missionary might then mention the prophecies relative to the Great Saviour of the world; the promised Messiah of the Jews, with the exact fulfilment of those prophecies; and then expatiate upon the just and benevolent precepts of the gospel.
It would be a most happy circumstance for themselves and for others, if the Indians could be ever persuaded to relinquish their horrid custom of torture. It is this which has inflamed some to wish for their utter extirpation. It would be a great point gained by those who have an opportunity of conversing with the Indians, if they could only reform them from this custom, in dependently of the conversion to Christianity. Torture cannot be justified upon the old Jewish principle of just revenge, for that only required an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth,
whereas torture exceeds the demands of justice.
It is probable when the time arrives; foretold by the prophets, that the Jews will be gathered from their dispersion among all nations, many of the Indians will pass over at Beering's or Cook's Straits, into Asia. It is said of the Almighty by the prophet, "For lo I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth." Amos, ix; 9. -- And Isaiah says "I will bring thy feed from the East, and gather thee from the west. I will say to the North give up; and to the South keep not back; bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth," xliii; 5 and 6.
These prophecies should induce the whole people of America to treat the Indians with as much lenity and forbearance as possible. We reason from "the sure word of prophecy," according to the expression of the Apostle, when we say, that all the descendants of the house of Israel, among which
are many Indians, will be restored to the land of their forefathers. This will probably happen about the conclusion of the present century, somewhere near the year 1900. Many of the Indians will then relinquish their land to the white people. Upon the restoration of the Jews it is said, that the land of their forefathers will be too small to contain them and that they will wish its borders to be enlarged. "For thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of thy inhabitants." Isaiah, xlix; 19.
We may conclude with certainty from the prophets that the restoration of the Jews will be literal as well as spiritual. Moses says, that when the Jews "return unto the Lord" he will bring them "into the land which their fathers possessed, and they shall possess it." Deuteronomy, chap. 30th. The land of their forefathers can never be taken in a spiritual sense, but must literally mean the land of Israel.
Mr. Joseph Mede supposed from the obstinacy of the Jews, in resisting for so great a length of time every argument which mankind could urge in favour of Christianity, that supernatural means would be necessary to prevail with the great body of them; that they would be converted like Paul by visions from Heaven. Some may be converted in this way, but others may be converted by reading the New Testament, or other treatises in favor of the gospel. We know that some have been converted by reading the New Testament (see for this among various instances, an account of a pamphlet in favour of Christianity by a converted Jew, in the Gentleman's Magazine for the year 1750) and therefore it is fair to conclude, that others will be converted by the same means. -- We should not be discouraged from any mild and prudent attempts to prevail upon the Jews to embrace Christianity. But I think that little can be gained in personal disputes with them, especially before many persons, where they may think themselves insulted by what is said by the advocates of Christianity, and upon the
whole may be rather irritated than instructed. The leaving them unmolested, or giving them the same political privileges with Christians, may have a great influence over their minds. Toleration disarms them of that indignation which they formerly professed against Christians, and may dispose them to the acknowledgment of the gospel, which is the true law of God.
Upon the conversion of the Jews to Christianity, which will probably happen before a very great length of time, the Gentiles will be generally converted. St. Paul says of the Jews, "Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them be the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fulness." Romans; xi; 12.
In Africa the slave trade should be abolished to forward the propagation of the gospel. The most effectual method of abolishing the slave-trade, seems to be by making settlements similar to that of Sierra Leone, upon the coast of Africa. By such settlements the British nation
(pages 32-110 not transcribed>
By the institution of the missionary Society in London, the institution of the missionary Societies in North America, and other circumstances, there is a very particular desire at this time in the professors of Christianity, to preach the gospel to "every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people," which seems to be a fulfilment of the prophecy. It is now, therefore, that unapalled by danger, and unseduced by ease and ambition, we should bear the unadulterated gospel of our Redeemer in
thunder * over an astonished world. The Almighty has set his King, our Lord and Saviour, upon his holy Hill of Zion. In vain shall earth, shall hell oppose. The decree is gone forth, and will in time be fulfilled, which says, "Ask of me and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession." Psalm ii. The labourers are now comparatively few in regard to the fields which are white unto harvest. It is now that the servants of the Lord should peculiarly exert themselves. In this cause however, they should abstain from all improper fraud and violence, and learn to become terrible in meekness. It is now that his spirit (which he will give to all who ask it properly) will powerfully attend their well designed endeavours. They mould remember that "they who turn many to righteousness, will shine forth as the stars forever." Daniel,
If we raise on high the Banner of Christ they will flock to it from the
* And he surnamed them Boanerges, which is the sons of thunder." Mark iii; 17.
east, and the west, from the north, and from the south; and if we use worthy means in the propagation of the gospel, we may be assured of the all-prevailing aid of that great and true God, who lifts up his hand to heaven, and whole Word, as well as his Throne, will stand forever.
I suppose in the passage which I have just quoted from the Revelation of St. John, there is an allusion to the words of our Saviour, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come." Matthew xxiv, 14. Christians should at this time, with due care and fidelity, preach the gospel as a trial to all nations, and if it is accepted or not, those who preach it should rest satisfied in their consciences, from having done their duty.
Great and singular movements have lately happened in Kentucky, a new state in the western territory of the United States of America. Large bodies of people have continued encamped
for a considerable time, for months, in the eastern part of that state, for the purpose of attending to some ministers who have preached there. Colonel Robert Paterson of Lexington in Kentucky, in a letter to the Rev'd. Dr. John King of Pennsylvania, dated September 25, 1801, says, "On the third sabbath of June, the sacrament was administered at Lexington, Mr. Welch's congregation; the same day at Indian Creek, Mr. Robertson's congregation, the latter on Kingston Creek, eighteen miles below Paris, and twenty miles north of this place. The former began on Friday, and continued till Tuesday, being the first time that the strange work made its appearance here. About 70 were struck -- 300 communicants -- 6000 persons in all attended. The latter commenced on Tuesday and continued till Thursday, day and night, the first night excepted. About 10,000 persons -- 50 waggons -- 800 struck -- 500 communicated.
"On the first sabbath of August was the sacrament at Kainridge, the congregation of Mr. Stone, This was the
largest meeting of any that I have seen: it continued from Friday till Wednesday. About 12,000 persons -- 125 waggons, -- 8 carriages -- 900 communicants."
This gentleman in the same letter says, "Notwithstanding all that our ministers, and a vast number of the most respectable and sensible people in the country, acknowledge that it is the wonderful work of God, and is marvellously manifested to us; yet there are people so hardened, that they either can not or will not acknowledge the work to be of God, but represent it in an unfavourable view."
This spirit has spread in the states of Tennessee and North Carolina, and what is very remarkable, is said to have originated with the Presbyterians.
The following is an extract of a letter from a Presbyterian to his friend in Baltimore.
Bourbon County, 7th August, 1801.
"My dear friend,
"I am on my way to one of the greatest meetings of the kind perhaps
ever known: it is on a sacramental occasion. Religion has got to such a height here that people attend from a great distance: on this occasion I doubt not but that there will be ten thousand people, and perhaps five hundred waggons. The people encamp on the ground and continue praising God day and night, for one whole week before they break up, during which time between five hundred and a thousand fall to the ground and lie for several hours deprived of the use of their limbs. Some come to under pungent conviction, and continue in that distressed way until they are enabled to lay hold on Jesus Christ by faith; others come to having delightful discoveries of Christ as their Saviour, and are enabled to speak in a strain that astonishes the multitude.
"This, my dear sir, is a new thing in the Presbyterian Church; and many oppose the work; but for my part I believe it to be a glorious work, and an uncommon display of the power of God.
"I am told by eye-witnesses that Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist ministers
unite, break bread together in token of their Christian love and fellowship, the one with the other, and are mutually striving to build up the Church of Christ."
It would be a commendable conduct in the prudent ministers of the gospel in this part of the world, to soften down any improper enthusiasm or wild fire that may have appeared in these movements, into a rational spirit of manly steady piety. -- They may seize an opportunity from these large meetings, to induce the people to subscribe for the establishment and regular support of churches and meeting-houses, wherever they may be wanted throughout the country, and for the encouragement of wise and pious Missionaries to the remote tribes of the Indians. -- When people assemble from a great distance for a long time, there is danger that their farms and their trades may be neglected, and that though some may come to pray, others will come to frolic. -- The veterans in the cause of Christ should always endeavour to correct the enthusiastic irregular sallies of new raised troops,
who are too apt to mistake the suggestions of fancy for true inspiration, and to procure (according to the injunction of the Apostle) that "all things be done decently and in order."
Sentiments more favorable to the Indians, than were formerly entertained, have of late years been generally adopted by the people of the United States. There were some, several years ago, who contended for the utter extirpation of the Indians. The belief that the Indians are descended from the ten tribes, must have a tendency to soften the minds of mankind towards them. This belief is generally gaining ground, and even among some who once violently contended against the doctrine. It is a sound truth, that many of the Indians in America are descended from the ten tribes, and time and investigation will more and more enforce its acknowledgement. It is not candid and becoming in any hastily to condemn this doctrine, who have not a considerable knowledge of the Mosaic law, and of the customs of the Indians, by which a similarity between the Jews and Indians may be
traced. I have shewn in the former part of this work that Mr. Hearne, and even David Brainerd the missionary to the Indians (who deserves to be mentioned with great respect for his piety) were ignorant of some points of the Mosaical law, which they held to be superstition in the Indians. -- There is a very remarkable passage in favor of this doctrine in "the Journal of a two months tour in America: by Charles Beatty, A. M." London printed, 1768.
In page 84, Mr. Beatty says "I have before hinted to you, that since I had the pleasure of seeing you last, I had taken pain to search into the usages and customs of the Indians, in order to see what ground there was, for supposing them to be part of the ten tribes: and I must own, to my no small surprise, that a number of their customs appear so much to resemble those of the Jews, that it is a great question with me, whether we can expect to find among the ten tribes (wherever they are) at this day, all things considered, more of the footsteps of their ancestors, than among the different Indian tribes.
The conduct of the Indian women, in certain circumstances, seems to be in a manner perfectly agreeable to the law of Moses. -- A young woman, at the first appearance of the catamenia, immediately separates from others, makes up a hut for herself at some distance from the town, or house me lived in, and remains there during the whole time of her disorder, that is, seven days. -- The person who brings her victuals, is very careful not to touch her; and so cautious is me herself of touching her own food with her hands, that me makes use of a sharpened stick, instead of a fork, with which to take up her venison, and a small ladle or spoon for other food. -- When the seven days are ended she bathes herself in water (usually in some neighbouring brook or river) washes all her clothes, and cleanses the vessels she made use of during her menses. Such as are made of wood she scalds and cleanses with lye, made of wood ashes; and such as are made of earth or iron, she purifies by putting them into the fire: she then returns to her father's house, or the family she left; and is, after this, looked upon fit for marriage and not before.
A woman, when delivered of a child, is separated likewise for a time.
I have been at a place in New Jersey, more than once, called in the Indian language, Cross-week-sung, that is the house of separation, which took its name, no doubt, from its being a noted place for that purpose. Near this was formerly an Indian town.
The Indians observe the feast of first-fruits: and before they make use of any of their corn, or fruits of the ground, twelve of their old men meet; when a deer and some of the new corn are provided, the venison is divided into twelve parts, according to the number of the men; and the corn, beaten in a mortar, prepared for use by boiling, or baking it into cakes under the ashes, is divided into the same number of parts with the venison; then these men (if I forget not) hold up the venison and corn, and pray, as they term it, with their faces to the east, acknowledging I suppose, the goodness and bounty of heaven to them; and perhaps, in this prayer, seek to God, in some manner for a blessing
on their first fruits; the venison and corn, prepared, are then eaten by those present; after this, they make use of their corn and other fruits of the earth freely. *
Another public feast they have in the evening, which looks somewhat like the passover; when a great quantity of venison is provided with other things, dressed in their usual way, and proportions thereof distributed to all the guests, of which they eat freely that evening; but that which is left, is thrown into the fire and burned, as none of it must remain till the sun rise the next day; nor must a bone of the venison be broken.
Once in the year, some of the tribes of Indians choose, from among themselves, twelve men, who provide twelve deer, and each of them cuts a small pole, from which they strip the bark, and make a tent, by sticking one end of the poles in the ground, binding the tops over one another, and covering the tent with their blankets. Then the twelve men choose each of them a stone,
which they make hot in the fire, and place them together, I suppose, in some form of an altar, within the tent, and burn the fat of the inwards of the deer thereon. At the time they are offering, the twelve men in the tent cry to the Indians without "we pray, or praise!" who answer "we hear." Then the men in the tent cry Ho -- ah! very loud and long, which appears to be somewhat like in found to Hallelujah. After the fat is thus offered, some tribes burn tobacco, cut fine, upon the same stones: some nations or tribes, choose only ten men, who provide ten deer, ten poles, and ten stones, &c.
Their custom of consulting their Pow-waas (a kind of prophets, who pretend to have converse with spirits) upon any extraordinary occasions, either of great, or uncommon sickness, or mortality, &c. and seems to be in imitation of the Jews of old, enquiring of the prophet.
There is one tribe of Indians, called Nanticocks, that on removal from their old to new habitations, carry the bones
of their ancestors and deceased relations with them. I am well allured, that some of the Indians will not eat the hollow of the thigh of the deer, but cut off that part and throw it away.
It is a great fashion with them to wear bracelets of wampum (a kind of bead, made of a black sea shell, which they have instead of money) on their arms; and I have frequently seen a bead hanging to the bridge of their nose; and almost all wear a kind of mock jewels in their ears, composed of such things as they like. They make great use of bears oil, with which they anoint their heads and bodies. They have an Avenger of blood among them, who is the man nearest related to the murdered, who pursues the homicide, and takes his life wherever he finds him. --
A Christian Indian informed me, that an old uncle of his, who died about forty years since, related to him several customs and traditions of the Indians in former times; and among others that circumcision was practised long ago by
them; but that their young men at length, making a mock of it, brought it into disrepute, and so it came to be disused."
Carver * in his travels mentions, that wherever he went among the Indian tribes with the calumet, or pipe of peace, it insured him civil treatment. This is a
* Captain Carver seems to doubt that the Indians are descended from the Jews, because the Indians do not practice circumcision. It has been proved, however, by indisputable evidence, that some of them have used this rite. Captain Carver allows the separation of the women at a certain time, and the sacred dance, in which they are known to sing Hallelujah, Yo-he-wah. He thinks with the celebrated Dr. Robertson in his history of America, and many other writers, that the Indians came from Tartary and past over into America at Behring's straits. It is the opinion of Dr. Robertson, that almost all the Indians in America came originally from Tartary. If we allow this point it goes a great way in favor of the Indians being descended from the Ten Tribes, for it can be proved that these tribes were carried in to or near Tartary, and that they wandered from thence. -- All who are descended from Israel will in due time be restored to the land of their forefathers, though not so soon as some visionary men suppose, and according to the words of the prophet, "they shall yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria." Jeremiah, xxxi; 5. -- If the reader will attend to the vision in the 30th and 31st Chapters of Jeremiah, he will find that "in the latter days" all the tribes of Israel "from the coasts of the earth" are to be restored to the land of their forefathers.
circumstance worthy the attention of the missionaries who go among the Indians. Though the Indians are revengeful, they are generally hospitable, and many of them may say with the celebrated Indian chief, Logan, "When was it that a white man came into the cabin of Logan hungry and I did not give him meat, naked and I did not clothe him?."
It appears by an account of the Connecticut missions, in the New-York Missionary Magazine for September 1801, that a missionary in a late tour "saw a number of the Tontowonta and Tuscorora tribes of Indians, who expressed a strong desire to have the gospel preached among them. these tribes are in a degree civilized; and there is a prospect that many of them would embrace the Christian religion if they had the means of being instructed in its principles." These tribes live between the Genesee river and Niagara. It is much to be wished that they should soon hear what some of the Indians call the beloved Speech.
An attempt has been wisely made of late years by the government of the United States to civilize the Indians, and it appears to meet with growing success. The President of the United States in a message to both houses of congress, dated December 8th, 1801, says, "Among our Indians also a spirit of peace and friendship generally prevails; and I am happy to inform you that the continued efforts to introduce among them the implements and the practise of husbandry, and of the household arts have not been without success: that they are become more and more sensible of the superiority of this dependance for cloathing and subsistence over the precarious resources of hunting and fishing; And already we are able to announce, that, instead of that constant diminution of numbers produced by their wars and wants, some of them begin to experience an increase of population."
The following report of Mr. John Young who was sent by the committee of the south Alkorn association of baptists, as a missionary to the Indians, is
taken from a Kentucky gazette of November 20th, 1801.
"The Speech delivered the 2d day of the council by the Chief, Black Hoof.
"We have taken in to consideration your letter to us, and have come to a resolution, that we be no more two people, but that we will live as brothers even as one people; -- that the white people and red people may be the same as one body, or as two good brothers, loving each other, and to remain so for ever. We wish that young brothers of the white people and red people, may always live as brothers, to advantage of each other, not break the peace of themselves or their fathers.
"In answer to governor St. Clair's letter.
"As we wish to live in love and peace with all our brothers, we hope the Great Spirit will direct us to take our brother's advice, as he calls us sons or children of love.
"Answer continued to committee.
"And now brothers we have concluded to tell you our minds about your kindness in sending your letter and friends Young and Ruddle, to tell us good things about the Great Spirit above. Now brothers we have come to a conclusion among ourselves that we are glad that our white brothers have thought of us at last; you have distressed your red brothers in times past in driving us from town to town, but we hope the Great Spirit hath learnt you peace and great good things. We tell you that we gladly receive the brothers that you sent, and we hope the Great Spirit is bringing the time when the red brothers and white brothers will be as one, in knowing these great things that our brothers tell us about and we hope that our white brothers will continue their love to their red brothers, and send us the things you learn of the Great Spirit -- we are glad -- very glad for the things you have told us our brother you have sent, told us yesterday, good things about loving the Great Spirit, and loving our brothers; that we are all sure to die, and
that all people must know the love of the Great Spirit, and Jesus Christ that he has sent, and love their brothers, or they cannot go to the Good Spirit, and happy place, he has for his people.
"The brother told us, that the Good Spirit made us a11 of the same flesh; and that he did not wish us to give land or money to the white brothers. He says all he wants is the happiness of our souls when we die -- for us to know the love of our maker. He tells us he will come once or twice a year, to tell us the good things of the other world; and we thank him for coming, and bringing our friend to be his tongue. As you know these great things, brothers, we wish you to think about your red brothers, and try to teach us the singing or gospel, and the good things our brother has told us, about those things our brother told us yesterday."
Though a minister of the gospel should not seek after wealth by preaching, and in imitation of St. Paul should let his own hands minister to his necessities, whenever he has the opportunity,
yet there are times in which it may be necessary to supply him with money. He may be sick, and not able to work, or he may be in a place where he can get nothing by his work. The travelling expences of a minister may often be fairly allowed to him by the society connected with him, if he has no private fortune of his own. -- Associations should be formed in various parts of the Christian world for the furtherance of the Gospel. -- From these associations, which should consist of numerous members, the necessary money should be supplied, which is truly and honestly wanted to aid the cause. In some cases it might be useful that a minister of the gospel should neglect all business and manual labour, if proper funds are established for his support, that he may give more attention to the conversion of mankind. -- It is a circumstance worthy of peculiar regard, that societies should be immediately formed over the whole United States, and British provinces, of America, for the purpose of civilizing and Christianizing the Indians. In many cases it might be better that the Indians should
be civilized before an attempt is made to convert them.
It would be prudent therefore in these societies as their funds would allow it (and all well disposed Christians should be urged to subscribe *) to invite the Indians to the towns, where for a time their boarding and lodging should be given to them gratis, and they should be instructed in arts and trades which would be immediately useful to them. This scheme might be adopted, as well as the attempt to instruct and convert the Indians in their own country. The members of these societies should invite the Indians to their houses, and should take, in such cases, especial care that they are [not] led away by vicious company. It would be best at first to teach them to be carpenters, farmers, blacksmiths, potters, tanners, &c. Before, or unitedly with this, they should be instructed in the English language.
* A gentleman of property in the state of New Jersey has lately given a considerable quantity of land for the benefit of the Indians. -- Much might be said in favour of setting aside back lands for the benefit of the Indians, which in time will be of immense value.
The simple principles of Christianity should afterwards gently and gradually be instilled into their minds. The people called Quakers have lately instructed several Indian children, boys and girls, in the neighbourhood of Philadelphia, all of whom they have sent back to their own country, where they will probably become useful members of society, excepting one Indian young man: He is now the foreman in the shop of a respectable Blacksmith, in the town of Chester, near Philadelphia. When this Indian returns to his country he may be of very considerable service to it, for he is sober, diligent, and well skilled in his trade. -- It is a very judicious scheme to make the young Indians Blacksmiths. The celebrated Mr. Locke says, that a great deal of the advantage of civilized over savage life, consists in the knowledge of the use of iron. It is an unreasonable idea, unfounded on truth and experience, that Indians can never be brought to be employed in any kind of manufactures or agriculture. I have seen them with my own eyes selling baskets of curious workmanship, which they were very fond to make.
The society of Friends deserve great praise for their endeavours, wherever they have the opportunity, in which they should be joined by all considerate people, to discourage the improper use of spirituous liquors among the Indians. This fatal propensity, which can with * difficulty be eradicated from their breasts, debases the character of the Indians, inflames them to acts of madness, often reduces them to want, and thins their population.
The most useful art to the Indians immediately, will be that of agriculture. If they have no means of gaining a livelihood but by hunting, when the country comes to be settled, they will be starved. It is a cause therefore of the greatest importance for which I contend when I write in favour of the Indians, of life and death spiritually and temporally considered, and I trust that the
* I once heard an Indian Chief, say "I am neither Atheist, nor Deist, but an honest Presbyterian, yet I love grog." The Presbyterian church, however, I trust will protest against the immoderate use of this liquor,
justice and sacredness of that cause will give dignity to importunity. We should solicit immediate and powerful exertions in favour of the Indians. They have been held in too contemptuous a view, and many of them may prove to be of the chosen people of God, to be of illustrious descent, and exalted destination.
The people called Quakers, with a benevolence, which is worthy of praise and imitation, have lately taken into consideration the growing distresses of the Indians.
"A report on the subject of the Indian natives, was made to the Yearly Meeting on the 2d of October, 1795, and then read, considered, and adopted. On the next day it was again read and a committee of twenty-nine were appointed to receive and appropriate such monies as may be raised towards effecting the beneficial, pious purposes held up to view in said report.
At a meeting of the said committee in Philadelphia) on the 3d of the 11th month, 1795, the following epistle was directed to the quarterly and monthly meetings belonging to the said yearly meeting.
The committee appointed by the yearly meeting to attend to the growing concern for the welfare of our Indian brethren, have seriously considered the important trust devolved upon them, the prosecution of which will evidently require prudence, patience, and perseverance; its ultimate object, under the Divine blessing being no less than the temporal and spiritual welfare of some thousands of our fellow men, and their posterity.
Difficulties, however, mould not discourage us from the exercise of our Christian duty toward these people, when we call to mind that they were the original inhabitants of this land, and that they kindly received and made room for our forefathers, when they were strangers in it; especially as we are settled upon the sea coasts, and parts adjacent,
enjoying, through the bounty of Providence, an abundance of temporal blessings, where they once lived in ease and plenty, but are now wandering from hill to hill, scarcely able to find subsistence in their former way of life -- Circumstances which loudly call for our brotherly assistance, to put them in a way to support themselves by agriculture and handicraft.
It is hoped that some sober well qualified friends will be drawn to unite with the concern so far as to go among them for the purpose of instructing them in husbandry and useful trades; and teaching their children necessary learning, that they may be acquainted with the scriptures of truth, improve in the principles of Christianity, and become qualified to manage temporal concerns -- and it is expected that the committee will find it expedient to erect grist and saw mills, smith's shops, and other necessary improvements in some of their villages. For the support of those who may be disposed to undertake the performance of these services, due provision is intended to be made; and any proposals from
concerned friends will be received by Thomas Wistar of Philadelphia, our clerk, and laid before the committee for consideration.
The present appears to us a favourable period for carrying on this good work the boundaries of some of the Tribes are fixed by treaty their lands cannot now be so easily alienated as heretofore, and evil communication with traders and others is intended to be prevented by government, whose consent and approbation of the measures proposed have been already expressed.
We have appointed John Elliot our treasurer, who is to receive the collections that may be made in the several monthly meetings for these benevolent purposes.
To spread before friends some information of the present opening for usefulness, the following speeches of some of their chiefs, and extracts of letters from others who have been taught to read and write, are selected from a considerable
number which speak the same language, from different tribes.
Signed by direction, and on behalf of the committee, by
THOMAS WISTAR, Clerk.
EXTRACTS FROM SPEECHES AND LETTERS OF SOME INDIAN CHIEFS.The Speech of Gayashuta, an ancient Chief of the Seneca nation on the borders of Pennsylvania, as given in charge by him to one of the Sachems of that nation, in the year 1790, to be delivered to the Friends of Philadelphia.
Brothers, the Sons of my beloved Brother ONAS,*
When I was young and strong our country was full of game, which the Good Spirit sent for us to live upon. The lands which belonged to us were extended far beyond where we hunted. I and the people of my nation had enough
* Onas is the Indian word for a quill, and by that name they speak of William Penn.
to eat, and always something to give to our friends when they entered our cabins; and we rejoiced when they received it from us: hunting was then not tiresome; it was diversion; it was a pleasure.
When your fathers asked land from my nation, we gave it to them, for we had more than enough: Gayashuta was amongst the first of the people to say, "Give land to our brother Onas, for he wants it," and he has always been a friend to Onas, and to his children.
Your fathers saw Gayashuta when he was young; when he had not even thought of old age or weakness: but you are too far off to see him now he is grown old. He is very old and feeble, and he wonders at his own shadow, it is become so little. He has no children to take care of him, and the game is driven away by the white people; so that the young men must hunt all day long to find game for themselves to eat: they have nothing left for Gayashuta. And it is
not Gayashuta only who is become old and feeble; there yet remain about thirty men of your old friends, who, unable to provide for themselves, or to help one another, are become poor, and are hungry and naked.
Gayashuta sends you a belt which he received long ago from your fathers, and a writing which he received but as yesterday from one of you. By these you will remember him and the old friends of your fathers in this nation. Look on this belt and this writing, and if you remember the old friends of your fathers, consider their former friendship and their present distress; and if the Good Spirit shall put it in your hearts to comfort them in their old age, do not disregard his counsel. We are men, and therefore need only tell you, that we are old, and feeble, and hungry, and naked; and that we have no other friends but you, the children of our beloved brother Onas.
An extract of a speech from Gayontwaghta, commonly called Corn-Planter, a Sachem of the Six Nations, to Friends, in the year 1791.
The Seneca nation see that the Great Spirit intends they should not continue to live by hunting, and they look round on every side and enquire, who it is that shall teach them what is best for them to do.
Your fathers dealt honestly with our fathers, they have engaged us to remember it, and we wish our children to be taught the same principles by which your fathers were guided.
We have too little wisdom among us; we cannot teach our children what we perceive their situation requires them to know. We wish to be instructed to read and write and such other things as you teach your children, especially the love of peace.
An extract of a letter from Hendrick Aupaumut, a Chief of the Mohiconick Tribe, now settled upon the Oneida Reservation in the State of New-York, to William Savery, in the year 1794.
I and my nation are fully determined to become husbandmen are greatly encouraged to go on in the way of industry, that instead of depending upon the using guns for our support we take hold the ax, hoe, plow, scythe and sickle, that our children after us may become good farmers; and above all, numbers of us, both male and female, are come to a resolution to wait upon the Great Good Spirit, who will lead us in the way of everlasting life and I hope that number of my friends have experienced in measure the love of Christ, who died for chief of sinners. And we have sent our children to school every day to learn to read the word of God and other good books and endeavour to impress the things in their minds which are profitable for body and soul.
My good friends, I have just inform[ed] you our situation: we have build a house above one year ago, about thirty feet square, to be use as school-house and a house where we met on Lord's day to wait upon God, and here is some inconvenience in the time of cold weather, without fire to warm the house, and in considering this I come to conclude a querie with you as friend, whether you would be so kind as to help us or speak or use your influence among your brethren and friends in your society, to help us to keep this house warm That our poor children may be warmed in the time of school, and our poor people may not catch cold in the time of waiting and worshiping God in this house. If you would, then my petition is to you and your friends to put stove in this house, and we will put fire on it, then the house will be warm without getting great deal of wood. And I believe it will be agreeable to the Father of all mercies.
From other letters from the same to the same, in the year 1795.
My friend, I feel happy to hear your kind and friendly words; that you had a concern for your poor Indian friends, and that you would help them both in body and soul. And the token of which you have signified that you would send some books or implements of husbandry to such place as it would be best. My friend, this is moil acceptable offer; and I am requested by my people to desire you to send some implements of husbandry to Fort Schuyler on Mohawk river, to John Post's, who will take care of them till we fetch them. The hoes are most wanting among us, also two or three plows, chain and scythes, and axes, and harrow tooth -- these articles are very scarce here in wilderness -- if we could get such we could then go on with our spring work. Respecting books, spelling books and primers are necessary, for there are about forty small children who would use the small books, but the big children have got some books to read from other quarter.
My friend, I will acquaint you that we attempted to build saw-mill this summer, and have got all the irons ready -- we intended begin to work next month but money being so scarce we could not purchase some necessaries on that work.
My friends have thought that if we could hire fifty dollars from our friends we could make out -- and they desire me to mention it to you -- My friend I only mention this to you that you may know our situation and if you find it you could lent us so much without harm to your minds, we will replace next winter -- there is annual sum come in to this nation out of which we can replace your money.
My people and friends does very well this spring in their attempts to learn to be farmers.
One of my boys has been sick and died three weeks ago he was eight years of age -- one week before he expired I ask him several questions -- Among other things I ask him whether he could
trust our Saviour Jesus -- he said "Yes I have often pray to him in my heart."
The New-York missionary Society have attempted the conversion of some of the near Indians, and have commenced a mission to the remote tribe of the Chickasaws. Nor have the missionary societies of Massachufetts and Connecticut been inactive.
Letter to the Rev. E. Holmes, from David Fowler, a truly religious man, a principal chief, and who is called a peace-maker of Brotherton. The letter was dictated by the chief, and written by his son.
The Lord our God has once more brought you up here in our town; though we live at such a distance, yet we are permitted to see one another this side the grave. Dear sir, you are welcome in this our town, and you are welcome in my house; and I do rejoice to see you have such regard and pity for poor Indians. I hope you will be the means of doing much good amongst us
in this part of the land. As you are about to go and visit my poor brethren, the western tribes of Indians, I pray the Lord Jesus, our God, will prosper and protect you on your journey thither, and bless your endeavours to preach the gospel of Christ amongst them. I hope you will be the means of the conviction and conversion of many poor inhabitants of the wilderness.
I am glad that the Lord our God has put into the hearts of the Americans to send Missionaries amongst the Indians. I am likewise very thankful, that the Association of New-York thinks of us yet in this town. Dear brother, I beg of you, that you would inform the Mission Society, that I give them a thousand thanks, that they have taken up such honourable work in sending a missionary amongst my poor benighted brethren in the wilderness. As they now begin, I hope they will keep on that good work; I say good work: yes, I believe it is honourable and commendable. I hope and pray, that their endeavours, to spread the gospel of Christ amongst my heathen brethren, will be
blest: therefore, dear brother, I bid you God speed, both in your spiritual and temporal journey. Be courageous and valiant in the service of your Captain of your salvation. I commit you to the care and protection of our common Father, and I pray that he will give you wisdom, grace, and aid of his spirit wheresoever you attempt to preach the gospel of Christ amongst them, is the prayer of your affectionate friend and brother,
Address to the Rev. E. Holmes, in behalf of the Muhhtconnuck nation.
We feel ourselves happy, that, by the goodness of the Great Good Spirit, we are allowed to see another good day, and to see one another's faces, and that we are all well.
Father, while our heads were hanging down by the side of our fire-place, and almost discouraged to think whether we should ever see you again, we heard the sound of your feet walking on the good
path we lately made; and when we lifted up our eyes we saw you coming in with a smiling countenance, as usual, which gladdened our hearts; then we shook hands with you for joy, that you did not forget your poor children, nor the covenant of friendship which has been made between our nation and our brothers, the association to which you belong.,
Father, after we got together, you delivered the talk which our good brothers sent to us by you. We are very glad that they are still holding fast the chain of friendship with us, and that their compassionate feelings still continue towards us, and towards our poor brothers in the wilderness; and also rejoice to hear that you have seen your way more clear, after you had gone through many dark and heavy clouds; that, by the permission of the Great and Good Spirit, you have travelled on our path thus far, and that you go at the request of your good brothers, the Association, together with that of the missionary Society. As our brothers told us in their talk, that you wish to go beyond
our fire-place amongst some of the western tribes, they hope we will favour your good intentions, and help you by our council and assistance.
Father, according to the desire of our brothers, we are willing to favour your good intentions, and to help you by our council and assistance according to our capacity. Would our situation conveniently permit, we might, some of us personally go with you to introduce you amongst our brethren of the different tribes; but since it is otherwise, we think it would be as well to send our talk, with wampum, by your interpreter, to the tribes to which you may come, making known our acquaintance with you, and the motive of your visiting them.
Also, we think it would be well, whenever you come to a town or village of any of these tribes, in the first place to go with your interpreter, and see the chief or chiefs, call a council, give a complimentary speech, explain your mission as plain and short as you can, and then wait for their answer: and we must remind you of one thing more, though it seems but a small thing, but
knowing the dispositions of heathen nations, we advise you to fix your mind upon it at all times while you shall be amongst them; take willingly any thing eatable laid before you; you must not manifest any slight or disrelish on account of its not being dressed well.
Father, you have already distributed to us the good word several times since your arrival here, for which we heartily thank you; and as you are about to take up your pack for a long journey, we wish you the kind protection of the Great Good Spirit, and that he may prosper your good and important undertaking; That you may be the instrument of bringing many poor Indians from darkness to marvellous light; and in due time, return home safe to your friends and employers, giving them a pleasing relation of your journey. Farewell,
SACHEMS. Joseph Shauquethqueat. Hendrick Aupaumut.
COUNSELLORS. David Neshonnhhuk Joseph Quinney. John Quinney.
OWLS. Solomon Quauquanchmut. John Wautuhq'naut.
New-Stockbridge, July 28, 1800.
Israelite American Indians?