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latter epithet best explains the strong inclination I had, in the absence of every other consideration, of this, my ignorantly wicked wish to die of a broken heart.
A BROKEN HEART.
How strange and absurd are the ideas of childhood upon many unexplained subjects, of which here and there they catch a prominent word from the conversation of their elders. I have ever been averse to the plan of infant schools. Nor do I believe there is any benefit derived from them, where objects are multiplied and crowded upon the baby's attention. But just the reverse do I appreciate a privilege seldom extended to children-that of conversation and explanation of the objects which they have seen.
And yet there were much better possibilities within my scope of understanding and measure of moral feeling. But these were unknown to myself, as my puerile thought was unknown to all others. Nobody, perhaps, was to blame in the case; if, indeed, there can be a case where there is much faultiness and error and no accountability! My dear mother was patient, and most indulgent of my chattings and surmisings. But there was no system of questioning and explaining, and set
Outward objects do pretty sufficiently explain them-ting to rights these most egregious misapprehensions selves to children, as far as is yet necessary to them; and misappreciations of things as they should be. but more especially should they be encouraged to communicate their ideas, and to speak what they have heard and evidently noticed. And this teaching, as combined with the book, were, of the two, matter of more advantage. Of course this method implies either separate teaching, or what were far preferable, if convenient, domestic instruction.
I once heard Tristam Burges remark, that "the better part of teaching was that which was never paid for"-never stipulated for; namely, oral instruction and explanations by occasional lecturing. A faithful teacher fails not to do this, if time permits. But time does not permit, in any other than in a limited school.
But as I would say, this fine idea took large possession of me, and threw all quiet things into shade and obscurity. This excitement, by the way, was precocious, out of course, and mischievous. I think, had the more quiet but far nobler idea of fortitude and of a self-sustaining magnanimity as resting in God and futurity, been then presented to me, even as it was, I could not have understood them-I had meddled with something beyond myself, and as I could take but partial views of it, I was incapable of arriving at a fair estimate. There must have been an undue tendencyhow should it be watched-already established in me, to prefer things of striking and conspicuous effect, to the more quiet tenor of common life. And yet, how might this deep bosom have been turned within upon itself! Alas! it took the world, and time, and the disasters and misfortunes of life, to disabuse me, and to show me humanity as it is; and with some castings beyond, faint glimmerings of what it might be!
But of the broken heart. I believed it not then to
But to my subject of children's misconceptions of things. I remember when a child, for instance, of catching in the conversation of two, the phrase, "died of a broken heart." I was a child, and you will believe quite a young one, when I tell you my misapprehension upon the subject. My mother's family was numerous, and there was often at the house a young woman, a dress-maker. I mention this, because, as she be of disappointed hopes; of aspirations misapplied; was mostly in my mother's apartment, I was often pre-of friendships and affections sundered and bereaved; of sent, and heard her observations. She was lively and the decency of independence, and of an humble comengaging. Her style of conversation was, to use a petency wrested away by outward happenings, and by figure, showy and off-hand. She was a great novel the unfairness of others; or of the baffled attempts of reader, and her style of thinking itself was what may industry to retrieve the unkindness of fortune; of effort be called picturesque. Overhearing her talk, I had be- yielding to discouragement; of dejection and desponcome familiarized to the expression, "died of a broken dency, and in all the forms of things, the "hope deferheart;" and though I had no correct idea of what a red which maketh the heart sick!" And of this sickbroken heart truly was, yet it never failed, aided by the ness-bereaved hope-like the lamp with no more oil accompanying pathos of the narrator, to awaken and to feed it, it shall die. This truly is to die of a broken excite a strong sensibility in my feelings. I mused not heart. There is no surrender about it. The spirit over the subject, but took it in at once, in the very faints not, but is overpowered. Nature, up to a certain manner in which it was given. point, succumbs to burdens which she cannot bear.
How lovely is the philosophy of Goldsmith's expression, that "when mortality is oppressed by sufferings too strong for her to bear, nature kindly steps in and shields her with insensibility." And such is the coup de grace of a broken heart.
I thought it was something fine, signal, heroical; yet worthy of all pity. I conceived it was a matter of volition, and that the catastrophe was striking and instant;|| and that as the heart (my idea of the heart itself was mixed and confused) broke, it snapped and went off something like a percussion gun; that every body heard it, and that sorrow filled every bosom. There was something satisfying and sweet in this sympathy. How at fault was my trusting ignorance: and altogether I had a morbid desire of a like fate-a sort of envy of those who had been wretched enough to excite so much commisseration and notoriety; and I am afraid that this
Now there is much faultiness in our whole plannevertheless, so the lines have fallen. And will many a mother accept this little homilectic-will she dissect it article by article-will she trace the sinuosities and detect the germ of error, that so she may set her own child aright before she shall have aberrated far into wrong? Will she keep her away from the hearing of
THE SHAWNEE MISSION.
THESE people were now regular attendants at the house of God, and anxiously inquiring to know what they should do to be saved. Temporal business was generally suspended, and we spent nearly all our time in going from house to house to instruct them in this new way. At length a considerable number of them resolved, that on the next Sabbath they would go and unite with the Christian people, with a fixed purpose to lead a new life. Nearly all the week was spent in preparing for this solemn occasion. Those who had determined to take this step, were deeply solicitous to get as many of their friends as possible to go with them; while others preferred waiting sometime longer, to witness the result of these new movements before they ventured to take so important a step.
The next day the Indians began to collect at the school-house at an early hour. Fish was one of the first who attended; and as soon as L. Rogers arrived, Fish sent him to me with the following message: "My brother, I know what I promised to do to-day, but I am afraid I cannot do it; for after I went home last night, I was all the time thinking about those important words you explained to us out of God's Book, and it so tendered and broke my heart to pieces, that I know I cannot speak to-day, for I cannot keep from shedding tears all the time. If you think it will be best for me to speak, I will try to say a few words; but I know that I cannot speak more than two or three minutes. But I understand that a considerable number have made up their minds to join, and I think the best way will be to give them the opportunity to do so, for the first thing before we commence worship."
I concluded to take the old man's advice; and when the appointed hour had arrived, I went into the schoolhouse where we worshiped, and told them I had been informed that some of them had made up their minds to try to become Christians; and that now we wanted to know how many were determined to leave their old ways, and follow the words which Jesus Christ had given us: that we wished all who had come to this conclusion would come forward while we were singing, and give us their names. So we commenced singing,
"Am I a soldier of the cross," &c. All looked as solemn as death. Fish rose first. Supported by his staff, he came forward with a deliberate step, his head white with the snows of more than seventy winters, and reached out his trembling hand; at the same moment the big tears began to roll down his withered cheeks, which seemed to say that he had given Christ his heart. Not a word was spoken, but all who could, continued singing. Fish returned in the same deliberate manner to that part of the house whence he came, and took his seat. His oldest son then arose and followed the example of his father; and after he had returned to his seat, a third came forward. By this time every face in the house was bathed in tears; and they continued to come in the same deliberate manner, one at a time, until nineteen had approached and solemnly pledged themselves to be on the Lord's side. We then united in prayer to God, and took a text, and tried in the best manner we could, to direct these broken-hearted sinners to "the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world." But we confess we felt more like praising God for what he had already wrought, than like preaching; but we made the best improvement we could of the occasion, and God owned his word, and applied it with power to the hearts of those who heard.
On Saturday in the afternoon, several of the leading men of the band met at the mission-house, and I endeavored to explain to them the nature of the atonement made by the death and sufferings of Jesus Christ. We translated some of the plainest passages of Scripture to them on this subject. All appeared to be deeply interested, especially Fish, who sat in solemn silence during these exercises. Before we parted, we conversed with regard to the best course to be pursued on the approaching Sabbath; for we all knew that it would be an important crisis with us. It was agreed that it would be best for me to preach, and explain as fully as possible the plan of salvation. L. Rogers was to interpret; and then Fish, as he was the oldest man in the band and their chief, should speak and give his views of the Christian religion, and so explain it that all their young people could understand it; and this being done, it was also agreed we would then propose that all who wished to be Christians, and follow Jesus Christ and listen to his words, should come forward and give us their hands, and we would write their names in a book. Fish promised to comply with his engagement by speaking, and also to lead the way, and set a good example to his people by going forward first, and thus show that his purpose was fixed to try to become a Chris- so, while we sung a few verses, five more came and tian. The arrangement having been made and under-united with us. We then commended them to God stood by all, we parted. and the word of his grace, and retired to our respective
After the sermon was over, we told them if any more had made up their minds to go with us, they could then come forward, and we would take their names with those who had started in the fore-part of the meeting:
places of abode. During the whole of this interesting || I would give myself up to him; and ever since that meeting, there were no violent movings, nor breakings time I have felt glad in my heart. After I went home. forth of passion amidst the excitement of the occasion. from meeting that day, when I gave my hand to go But by their deliberate movements, they gave abundant with the Christian people, I went out into my little evidence that they were acting from a conviction that garden and thought I would try to pray; and when I the course they were taking was for their best interest got down on my knees, I felt like as if Jesus was there in time and in eternity. While on the other hand, by with me, and my heart felt glad. Another time I went their solemn countenances and penitential tears, they in the woods, and kneeled down under a big tree, and showed most clearly that the great deep of their hearts began to pray; and I felt the same way, like Jesus was was broken up, and that they were earnestly groaning there with me, and my heart felt glad—and I feel the for redemption in the blood of the Lamb. It appeared same way to-day." as though poor old Fish would not only sink down to the floor, but if possible, get under it. To use his own language, his "heart was tendered and broken to pieces." I have no doubt but many of them, even on this day, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, were enabled to believe on Jesus Christ to the joy and comfort of their souls. Though their information on the subject of this great change was so limited that they could not tell whence it came, yet they were fully aware that a heavenly breeze had passed through their hearts, and could say, "One thing I know, whereas I was blind, now I see;" or to express it in their own simple language, as they frequently did when alluding to this meeting, "When I went to meeting that day, and gave my hand to go with the Christian people, I felt very poor and weak in my heart; but when I heard about Jesus, and gave my heart up to him, ever since that time I have felt better." This was the experience of a majority of those who joined with us on that day.
THE SHAWNEE MISSION.
Many others spoke nearly to the same effect, and we gave each of them advice as we thought their respective conditions required. In conclusion we sang, and L. Rogers prayed in the Shawnee language. We then told them that we would have class meeting again the next Thursday, at the same time of the day, dismissed them, and went home.
Accordingly we met the next week, and told them that we only wished to hear what had taken place with them since our last class meeting, and that we did not wish them to tell the same things again. They arose as before, one by one, and expressed their feelings in a very simple, yet appropriate manner. One very plain and unassuming man arose, and stood for sometime before he spoke: he then said, "My brothers and sisters, me cannot tell you good how me feel. Me feel just this way, like me getting nearer to God all the time, and my heart feel glad." Now these people had never been in class meetings among Christians before, and consequently had no opportunity of learning the different ways in which Christians express their feel
Soon after this we explained to them the nature of Christian baptism. We told them that it was necessary for all who wished to follow Jesus Christ, to ac-ings to each other. Their language was prompted by knowledge him in this public manner by a solemn consecration of themselves to him in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. They accordingly came forward, asked for, and obtained baptism. We also told them that it was customary with us to have what we called a class meeting. So we appointed class meeting, to be held at Fish's house, every Thursday in the afternoon. When we met, we told them that in these meetings all spoke, men and women, and told how they all felt in their hearts.
the feelings of simple, honest hearts before God; and to us, who had been acquainted with their language before they were brought under this gracious influence, these things were of the most thrilling interest, and we were constrained to acknowledge that the Holy Ghost had been poured out upon them as well as upon us. For one I was constrained to acknowledge, that if I had previously entertained doubts with regard to the divinity of the Christian religion, they would all have been swept away, by beholding the power of God as displayed in the conversion of these poor Indians.
For a short time they all sat in silent self-examination, and then Fish, the old chief, arose and spoke in substance as follows: "My brothers, a few days ago, when I was baptized, my heart felt very bad, and as I returned from meeting I thought would pray; so I left the road and went into the woods, and kneeled down by the side of a big log, and prayed. I soon felt that my burden was taken away, and my heart made glad; and I have felt the same way ever since." He then resumed his seat. A woman, who is generally very diffident and timid, arose next, and stood for some-led on one of their leading men to follow by way of
From this time they continued to walk in the fear of the Lord, and the comfort of the Holy Ghost; and their number increased, more or less, nearly every week. We now began to call on native men to pray in public, and they also soon commenced prayer in their families. This was a heavy cross to them, but they seldom ever refused, and would perform this important duty with much fervor and simplicity, and with becoming Christian courage. We also generally, after preaching, cal
time, wiping away the tears from her cheeks, before she could get her feelings suppressed enough to speak. She then said, "My brothers and sisters, I never heard any thing about Jesus until lately. When I went to meeting, and heard how he suffered and died to save poor sinners, my heart felt very poor and weak, and I thought
exhortation, and to explain the subject in as simple a manner as possible, for the benefit of the youth and others, who could not readily understand a sermon preached in the usual way through an interpreter. And these native men, placed in this responsible relation, soon became greatly interested for the salvation
of their kindred according to the flesh. While trying || against nearly every member of his class! but espeto explain the doctrines of the Christian religion, their cially because they would not attend class meetings minds appeared to expand, and they were brought to promptly. He asked for advice, saying that he did not feel and understand more of its power and influence know what to do. While I was meditating upon some themselves. Two subjects appeared very much to proper arrangement to bring up his class, his oldest engross their thoughts. The first was, the wretched brother, Lewis Rogers, spoke and said, "My brother, I condition of the Indians while guided by their own de- am afraid you do not try hard enough with your class. lusive superstitions and traditions without the Gospel. I will tell you what I think will be best. I think it will The second was, the glad tidings of great joy which be best to appoint two class meetings a week for your they had so recently heard that there was a Savior class, until we get them stirred up, and in the habit of sent to redeem us-and that he was the Savior of the attending more regularly. If you will take this plan, poor Indian as well as of the white man. I have often I will go and help you." The proposition met the apheard them say to their people, with tears rolling down probation of all present, and they went to work with their cheeks, "It is true, our forefathers told us a great their two class meetings a week for the delinquents, and many good things, and some of them were very good I heard no more complaints of delinquencies in that people, much better than Indians are now. But they class afterwards. did not know any thing about this way, which we learn from God's Book. Here we are told that Jesus, the Son of God, died to save us; and now, if we are sorry for our sins and break off from them, and believe in Jesus, and pray to him, we may all obtain good hearts, and be saved in heaven when we die. We did not know this until our preachers brought these good words to us."
From this we can see something of the perseverance of these native men, to save their people from deserting the fold of Christ. How often do we find class-leaders, and preachers too, among ourselves, who, instead of imitating the zeal of these converted Shawnees, and appointing two class meetings a week for delinquent classes, give them up altogether, when the members become indifferent in attendance, and thus suffer whole ap-classes to become scattered. Perhaps a part may retain the form of godliness, while many others turn back entirely to "the weak and beggarly elements," and their last state becomes worse than the first. From observation and experience we hesitate not to affirm, that in most cases these sad consequences might be prevented by the united exertions of the preachers and official members of the Church, whom the Holy Ghost has in a very important sense appointed to watch over his flock, had they the diligence and perseverance of these converted Indians. Will not these rise up in judgment and condemn many a formal and cold-hearted professor of religion? For they, by their diligent efforts, show that they consider the salvation of the soul a matter of the first and greatest importance; while many, who have had much greater privileges, and who have long professed to be the followers of Christ, by an undue attention to worldly business, lukewarmness in their souls, or a sheer neglect of the means of grace, suffer their seats at the house of God to be vacated, and say to the world that they consider the Christian religion a "cunningly devised fable;" or to say the least, a subject of minor importance.
The Indians, who are generally reserved and backward in expressing themselves to white men on the subject of religion, now began to throw off that reserve, and talk more freely to us; as they had by this time become convinced that we were their friends. That the reader may more readily understand what I mean, I will relate a conversation which took place between an Indian man and myself, who was on intimate terms
William Rogers, the youngest brother of Lewis of friendship with me. He could talk but little EngRogers, our faithful interpreter, was one of our leaders.lish, and wished to purchase a yoke of oxen. I took At one time, when we met as usual to converse about him with me into the white settlement, and aided him the interests of the society, William Rogers appeared in purchasing a yoke of good, gentle cattle, which suited to be greatly discouraged. He had some complaint him very well; consequently he considered me his true
THE SHAWNEE MISSION.
In the fall of 1832, the Rev. E. T. Peery was pointed missionary to the Shawnees, and I was appointed to take charge of the Indian Mission district, yet continued my residence at the Shawnee mission. Brother Peery taught the school, preached to the Indians, and also attended to other pastoral duties. During this conference year we had strong persecutions from the Pagan party. They would call the Christian Indians singers and kneelers, and tell many extravagant falsehoods about things said to have occurred at the meetings; and they did not even stop at this, but killed their hogs, supposing they could do this with impunity. But the Christians persevered, and continued to increase || in number, and also in the knowledge and love of God. Our society had become too large to meet profitably in one class, so we divided them into several classes, and appointed native leaders to each class. We would also attend ourselves when convenient, and assist them. This worked very well.
We would frequently call the leaders together, and converse with them relative to the general interests of the society; and give such advice as we thought would enable the leaders to meet their classes in the most profitable manner. We would call the name of every member in each class, and inquire of their respective leaders how they were prospering in the divine life; and whenever a leader thought he could not succeed in bringing back a delinquent, he would ask for assistance, and we would appoint a committee to go with him; and they were generally successful, especially when several of them went together.
THE SHAWNEE MISSION.
friend, and believed that I would not tell him any thing || ner as he had been, he had found a way to become a
Now if these views be correct, we who feel such
sion he interpreted better than I had ever known him. I said to the Indian man above alluded to, "My friend, I would be glad to have you with us when we meet together to worship God, and see you listen to his words." He studied a few minutes, and then said, "My friend, I do not know how to understand what you mean. You talk to me about going to meeting and trying to be a Christian, like you thought I could be a Christian. Do you not know me? Do you not know that I have been a very wicked man? That I have been a great drunkard and a great liar, and have done a great many other bad things? But I believe that you are my friend, and that you would not tell me any thing which is not true."
I told him that I knew he had been a wicked man, and that we had all been sinners; and that if Jesus Christ had not come to save us, none of us could become Christians: but that Jesus had come to save sinners, and that he by the grace of God had tasted death for every man-for the red man as well as for the white man, for there was no difference with God, "who had made of one blood all nations of men," and had given his Son a ransom for all; and that now he commanded all men everywhere to repent and believe the Gospel. That if we are sorry for our sins, and will forsake them, and believe in Jesus Christ, he will pardon our sins, however many and great they may have been, and that he will send the Holy Spirit to change our hearts and make them good, so that we may be able to love and serve him and get to heaven when we die; and this was the reason why Christ commanded his apostles to go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature, that all might know the way to be saved, and that this was the reason why we came and preached to the Shawnees; for God's Book told us that he was not willing that any should perish, but that all should turn to him and live.
The true state of the case appears to be this, that there is a possibility for even heathens to be saved, if The man appeared to be astonished beyond measure they do the works of the law which God by his Spirit at this doctrine; and after he had silently thought on has written on their hearts; that is, if they fear God the subject a few minutes, he said, "My friend, I never and work righteousness according to the best light they heard these things before, and I am glad that you told have. But there are very few heathens who do this; me, for I think you would not tell me any thing wrong. not one with whom I have for so many years become Now I will go to meeting, and try to be a Christian." acquainted. Heathens, as well as other human beings, On the next Sabbath he was at the house of God, and are born in the possession of corrupt natures-"the one of the most attentive hearers I had ever seen. This carnal mind, which is enmity against God." And new doctrine still appeared to strike him with astonish- under the influence of this principle of depravity, they ment. On the second Sabbath he became greatly are enticed by surrounding temptations, which are nuaffected, joined the Church, and asked to be baptized. merous and strong in heathen lands. They are hurried He was accordingly solemnly dedicated to God by this into acts of wickedness in early life, and violate their ordinance, and gave good evidence, that as great a sin-l own consciences and their own acknowledged princi