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To bring back these wanderers from the path of happiness to a more diligent study of the Word of Life, is the principal object of the Pilgrim, in recommending a careful attention to the geography of Palestine and the adjacent countries. It would surely require but little pains to become familiar with all the more important places from “ the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates." And methinks it would be not a little gratifying to be able to follow the Father of the faithful, from the time he went forth from Ur of the Chaldees, until in a good old age “ he was buried in the cave of Macpelah ; to accompany also the children of Israel, in their journeyings through the wilderness; to attend on the footsteps of the prophets ; to trace the progress, in latter times, of Him who went about doing good ;" and to attend on his apostles, as they went preaching the gospel “ from Jerusalem round about unto Illyricum.”
Such a knowledge of Sacred Geography would not only tend to allure many to a study of the Scriptures, but also to illustrate numerous passages which must otherwise be obscure. For these and other obvious reasons the Pilgrim would hope to find in his monthly visits, a continually increasing attention to sacred Geography and to Jewish History, Antiquities, and Customs.
If you should think the following account of my visit to the Tuscarora Indians worthy of a place in your publication, it is quite at your service; and if it should have the effect of convincing any individual who may doubt of the possibility of the civilization and religious improvement of the North American Indians, and of inducing him to lend his aid in the accomplishment of so laudable an object, I shall not have written to you in vain.
In the month of August last, having visited that stupendous exhibition of the greatness and power of God in the works of nature, which the Falls of Niagara display, I determined on visiting the milder exhibition of his greatness and power in the operation of grace on the minds of the poor Indians in the neighborhood: and accordingly, on Thursday, the 23d day of August last, I accompanied two gentlemen of Baltimore from the village of Lewiston, on the Niagara river, to the village of the Tuscarora Indians, about three miles distant. We left Lewiston about five in the morning, and soon arrived at the Indian village, where we found several Indian families enjoying the comforts of domestic life, and were gratified in seeing their implements of husbandry, and arrangements for carrying on the cultivation of their lands in a manner superior to our expectations. As we proceeded through the village, we met Mr. Crane, the missionary minister who is settled among these people, and received from him a very satisfactory account of their moral and religious progress since the tribe became Christians; after which, the two gentlemen of Baltimore left me to proceed on their journey home, and I spent the day in the village with Mr. Crane, who invited me to his house, and introduced me to his family, consisting of his wife and Miss Brown, persons very well qualified and disposed to give him every assistance in the object of the mission.
In the evening I returned to Lewiston, but visited the Indian village again on Friday morning, spent the day there, and slept at Mr. Crane's house in the evening; so that, on that day and Saturday, I had an opportunity of forming an acquaintance with several of the tribe, and of observing their industrious habits and general good conduct. On Sunday, the 26th, I attended at their place of public worship early in the morning, and found Miss Brown, assisted by two young men, who were Indians, instructing some Indian children in reading; and it was very pleasing to see the docility with which the children received their instructions. About 11 o'clock the congregation began to arrive, dressed in their best blankets and ornaments, the women taking their station at the right hand side of the pulpit, and the men in front. On the left stood Kusick, an Indian chief, who was to interpret the sermon; and I sat near him.
About 12 o'clock, Mr. Crane said, It is time Kusick to begin. Kusick then called on the Indian choir, who opened their music books and stood up, one of them saying, in an audible voice, “ The Old Hundredth” —and, naming the hymn in the Indian language, they sang in the same language to that tune very correctly, and the voices of the women were very melodious. Mr. Crane then prayed, and another hymn was sung, in the same manner as the former, to the tune they called “ Plymouth”; after which Mr. Crane preachcd an excellent sermon in English, from John v. 40, “Ye will not come to me that ye might have life.” Kusick, the interpreter, translated every sentence, as it was spoken, into his own language, and used the same tone and manner as the preacher. He began thus"I shall speak to you this morning, brothers, from the 5th chapter of John-Ye will not come to me that ye might have life. When our Lord Jesus Christ was on the earth, he was a great teacherand what he taught was truth. Among other things, he taught the true way to obtain eternal life, and showed clearly that those who sinned against God exposed themselves to the danger of eternal death. The greatest evil Christ found among the Jews was the hardness of their hearts. This is the greatest evil among you, my brothers. Many of your hearts are hardened against God and against religion. Some are willing to come to God, but not with their whole heart. Such persons are willing to hear but not to do the will of God. They are willing to be called Christians, but are not wil. ling to be Christians indeed :—they are not willing to give up all to Christ: and it is because their hearts are so hard. Christ told the Jews they would not come to him that they might have life:and now, brothers, you have the same words before you, Christ, in hiş gospel, now speaks to you; and it is the same with you as it was with the Jews. You, brothers, will not come to Christ that you might have life: and the reason why you will not come is, your hearts are as hard as theirs were; and your danger is as great as theirs. I have often told you this; and I now tell you so again, and shall endeavour to prove it.” Thus Mr. C. continued, and
intreated his hearers to come to Christ and receive all the blessings of his gospel, which were freely offered to them, “without money and without price," and concluded with a solemn warning against the danger of delay.
When the sermon was ended, Mr. Crane called on an Indian, named George, to pray; and he offered up a prayer in the Indian language, with apparent energy and eloquence; after which, Mr. C. pronounced the usual blessing, and the congregation were dismissed.
I then accompanied Mr. Crane to the house of Kusick, the chief. where we were met by the sachem Sacharissa, and several other Inc dians, who conversed with us through the medium of interpretation, 'till the afternoon service at church, which was conducted in the same manner as in the morning, except that Kusick prayed instead of George. After the prayer, the sachem Sacharissa, who is a very venerable old man, and the first of the tribe who became a Christian, stood up and made an óration in the Indian language, in which, (as Mr. Crane informed me) he alluded to my visit from beyond the great waters; and exhorted his brethren to implore the Great Spirit to protect me in my pilgrimage through their country, and in my voyage home to England. This the congregation seemed to be very willing to do, and offered me their hands as I de parted with countenances of great kindness and friendly feelings.
I returned to Mr. Crane's house, and from thence in the evening to Lewiston, much pleased that I had made this visit, and with a conviction on my mind that Indians are as susceptible as others of moral and religious impressions. Their deportment, during the whole of my intercourse with them, was mild and gentle; and their conduct during public worship was worthy of the imitation of other Christians, who would do well in following it. The morning was rainy, and several Indian men did not arrive till Mr. Crane had begun to pray. They listened at the door, and would not open it, nor disturb the congregation till the prayer was finished. Two of the women had infants in their arms, and on their making the least appearance of restlessness they retired with them outside the door. and returned to join in the solemnities of the service as soon as possible.
It happened on my return through Canandaigua, that one of the Indian youth was passing through, on his way to Cornwall, to be educated, as I understand, for the ministry. He had seen and conversed with me at his own house in the Tuscarora village, and when I found him at the hotel at Canandaigua, was singing a hymn in the Indian language, to please the people at the inn, but the moment he saw me he sprung forward from the company who surrounded him, and seized my hand with rapture, such as the best of our species feel when they meet with a friend whom they love. I need not tell you I was rejoiced to meet him.
The excellent Mr. Crane, his wife, and Miss Brown, are very greatly respected and beloved by the tribe; and Mr. C. is generally accosted by the venerable title of Father, although he probably has not attained the 30th year of his age. He is incessant in his
missionary labours, and told me that eighteen had become communicants, that many more were daily expected, and that he had no doubt of considerable improvement among them when he should reside nearer the centre of the village, which he intended to do as soon as a small house, then erecting, should be finished, and he should be enabled to hold more frequent conferences and prayer meetings among them. I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
“ A soul without reflection, like a pile
Without inhabitant, to ruin runs."
FULLY sensible, from my own experience, of the important truth contained in the sentence I have quoted, I resolved, on commencing a ramble into the country, to embrace every favorable opportunity for serious reflection, and endeavour to derive lessons of instruction from any interesting occurrences that might fall under my observation.
I entered on my ramble, indulging in that agreeable reverie which a view of the lovely fields of nature is calculated to awaken, and humbly attempting a tribute of praise to the great Author of all things. In a few hours I reached an eminence which overlooks the
village of — ; and my attention was suddenly arrested by the · appearance of about twenty or thirty of the villagers, collected at a house near the foot of the hill, which I was then descending. It was a funeral. I mingled with the group, and began to make some inquiries, naturally suggested by the occasion. I was presently informed, that the deceased was a female, about forty years of age; that she had been a professor of religion for more than twenty years; and that her exemplary life and christian conversation, had given abundant evidence to all who knew her that she was a follower of Jesus, though she had by no means been free from apprehensions of being self-deceived. Happy, thought I, are those whose evidence of piety rests not on a few bursts of passion, or flights of fancy, exerted by the rack of nature, but on a life uniformly devoted to the service of Christ. Whether such a person dies triumphing over the king of terrors, or trembling and shrinking back from his terrific grasp, is a matter of small importance.
If the heart has really been devoted to the Saviour, (and surely ihe best evidence of this is a pious life, it can never be moved from its firm foundation. He who gathers the lambs in his arms, and carries them in his bosom, will never forsake his charge; and though the grim tyrant may frown, and seem to triumph for a while over his helpless victim; yet he can never destroy the peace of the true believer. The soul that trusts in Jesus, will at length be complete
ly delivered from every foe, and made forever happy in the presence of the everlasting God.
After a short prayer by the clergymari of the parish, a procession was formed, and the remains were conducted to the house appointed for all the living. The mother of the deceased, an aged widow, worn out with fatigue, and sinking under the weight of her sorrows, was unable to attend the mournful ceremony. An only brother, who bad reduced himself to the most distressing circumstances, by his idleness and intemperance; a pious sister, and a niece with her husband, were the only mourners that followed the procession to the grave. No tolling bell announced our silent march; no splendid pageantry, nor costly ensigns of woe, attempted to grace the solemn scene. Every appendage was simple, every tongue was mute,-all was still and solemn as the hollow caverns of the silent tomb. Indeed, what heart could be vain, or what countenance trifling, at such a time as this? Who could be present at such a scene, and not feel himself forced to reflect on his own mortality? What heart is so hardened as not to melt under the pathetic exhortation of the man of God, when, with these emblems of mortality before him, he directs the attention to the unseen and awful realities of eternity? . When we arrived at the grave, and the dust was mingling with its kindred dust, the awful silence with which the whole ceremony had been conducted, was suddenly broken by the faithful preacher; anxious that so favourable an opportunity should not pass unimproved. He spoke for a few minutes with a solemnity corresponding to the occasion, , and with an earnestness that gained the attention and affected the hearts even of the careless and stupid. Even gay and thoughtless youth, whose chief object seemed to have been to destroy serious reflection, by engaging in the giddy round of pleasure, were now brought to a serious pause; and for that moment, at least, they felt that they also were mortal. With this sad testimony to the frailty of man before them, they could not but reflect, that they likewise must be called to part with earthly joys, and take their flight into the unknown regions of eternity. Ah! what satisfaction do their vain amusements afford them now? Surely the trifling pleasures they may have enjoyed, while engaged in the idle sports that have so much occupied their attention, must be more than counterbalanced by the pain they now feel in reflecting on their sin and folly.. Oh! how unwise, (I exclaimed to myself, as I witnessed the painful emotions depicted in their countenances) what consummate folly is it, for rational beings to sport like the butterfly through the short summer of life, when the end of such a course is known to be sorrow and remorse!
But, what rendered the scene still more affecting, was the state of feeling manifested by the brother of the deceased, beforementioned. He was near sixty years of age-his whitening locks and withering limbs spoke a language too plain to be misunderstood; whilst the warning voice that issued from the opening grave cried loudly to surviving friends, “ be ye also ready.”' But, like too many others, be felt that he was not prepared for death. He had neglected reli