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But the exclusion of instruction in religious truth can be nothing less than a usurpation of God's authority, and a violation of the rights of conscience towards him. “ The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those which are revealed BELONG TO US AND TO OUR CHILDREN FOREVER, that we may do all the words of this law" (Deut. xxix. 29).
If religious liberty is the liberty of going without religion if we please so to do, it is equally the liberty of choosing and proclaiming for ourselves and our children the religion of the Bible; and the right of maintaining such teaching is as much more sacred than the right of forbidding it, as the freedom and obedience of truth are more sacred than the privilege of living and dying in ignorance and crime.
1 In connection with this, one should read the insolent and des. potic edict issued under authority of our Government, by which the Commissioner of Indian Affairs has undertaken to exclude the Dakota language from the schools maintained by missionary soci. eties on the Indian reservations: “The Dakota language must neither be taught nor used.” The entire Bible has been trans. lated into that language, and is printed at the Bible House. And yet the Government, undertaking to make good citizens of the Dakota Indians and to educate them in virtue and morals, excludes every Dakota book from the public schools, and forbids the missionaries to teach the Ten Commandments to the children in the only language they understand. Even the native teachers are forbidden from teaching the Gospel of Christ in Dakota, — the
With these views, Mrs. Cheever became, a fe:v years after her marriage, an originator of the earliest asylum for the education and care o poor friendless boys in New York; and, with the encouragement and bounty of Messrs. Morris Ketchum, Gilman, Phelps, Boorman, Harper, and other generous friends, succeeded in establishing what resulted in one of the most useful and truly benevolent institutions in the city.
“In the year 1849 or 1850 [we quote from the record of May 1, 1883], after a discourse from yourself in the Church of the Puritans, Mrs. Cheever, together with several other ladies, organized a movement for the rescue of vagrant children in this city, and opened a Home for Friendless Boys in Bank Street. In 1851 or 1852 this
only language they know, and their only medium of communication with the children.
A description of this edict may be read in the June, August, and September numbers of the American Bible Society Record, where will be found clearly traced the wickedness, cruelty, and papal despotism of such an intolerant decree on the part of the United States Government; - thus closing up and sealing the Century of our Dishonor, through hundreds of sacred treaties broken with the Indians, by an act of violence unequalled, all things considered, in any so-called civilized nation at this day.
If our social anarchists could have their way, it is plain enough that never a child in Christendom, educated in the public schools, should get a glimpse of the divine light and love in the face of Jesus Christ, the knowledge of whose radiance of mercy and grace might become their heaven,
was merged in the New York Juvenile Asylum, with Hon. Luther Bradish as its president, and a board of directors composed of some of the best names in the city.
" It has occurred to some of us that it might be gratifying to Mrs. Cheever and yourself to witness the present magnitude of the Institution, after the lapse of more than thirty years.' Certainly it would be regarded as a great pleasure to us if you can favor us with an acceptance of the accompanying invitation for Friday the 18th instant."
These dates and records are of interest as to the gradual yet rapid progress of some of the many benevolent charities established and successful, and so greatly needed in so vast a city of increasing immigrations from the whole world. Blessed beyond measure are they who were permitted to lay the foundations of such charities, deep and secure, in and for the training of the children in the knowledge of the Gospel and the love of Christ!
From one of her dear friends and co-laborers in this work Mrs. Cheever received the following letter, congratulating her on the success of her efforts in accomplishing the establishment of this charity by charter from the Legislature of the State.
DEAR MRS. CHEEVER, — I see, by the morning paper, that your petition for the Charter has passed the Legisla
ture. Will you allow me to congratulate you on the fruition of your hopes? I krow, with your elevated feelings, the praises of your fellow-creatures are but a small consideration, but I cannot refrain from expressing to you my veneration and respect. To your unfaltering efforts alone do these poor children owe their preservation from ruin and misery. How often have you said to me, There is no end to the good we may do, if we succeed ! " How happy, how enviable, must your feelings be! I will not say more ; you will understand me. But let me, for the bright example you are ever setting me, and for your kindness to my little Annie, offer you the grateful thanks of Your sincere friend,
MARIE L. COLES.
Mrs. Cheever was also one of the earliest and most active directors and managers of the Woman's Orphan Asylum, always taking a great interest in the poor colored children. By her tenderness and gentleness she won the hearts of all the little ones. - In the training of the children committed to her care nothing could be more attractive and beautiful than the mingled tenderness, winning affection, and prayerful watchfulness, combined with childlike simplicity and exquisite playful humor entirely her own, in the sportive and yet serious discipline she exercised over them. She treasured up every suitable and instructive narrative, whether in poetry or prose, for them; conveying the lessons of our blessed Lord to them in the simplest language, with a sweetness like the falling of the dew and the early rain, with the sunshine and the rainbow. She seemed inspired with the sweetness of our Lord's blessed charge, “Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
For some years she was a constant visitor of the poor women in the Tombs prison. The simplicity, self-forgetting earnestness, and diligence with which she engaged in these works of mercy made them, instead of a toil, a happiness for which she was always grateful.
Of her virtues, social and personal, so sweetly manifested, yet so artlessly and unconsciously, in their growth and blossoming, as the violets of the garden or lilies of the field, all who have known will testify; and the closing remark of a letter of one who knew her well will find a full and hearty indorsement from her many friends: “I doubt if the world can furnish a brighter example of pure and unselfish devotion to the good and happiness of others than she has left to us.”
In all this we are reminded of the exquisitely beautiful and heartfelt tribute of love and admira