Obrazy na stronie
[blocks in formation]


latter epithet best explains the strong inclination I had, A BROKEN HEART.

in the absence of every other consideration, of this, my How strange and absurd are the ideas of childhood || ignorantly wicked wish to die of a broken heart. upon many unexplained subjects, of which here and And yet there were much better possibilities within there they catch a prominent word from the conversa- | my scope of understanding and measure of moral feeltion of their elders. I have ever been averse to the ing. But these were unknown to myself, as my puerile plan of infant schools. Nor do I believe there is any thought was unknown to all others. Nobody, perhaps, benefit derived from them, where objects are multiplied was to blame in the case; if, indeed, there can be a case and crowded upon the baby's attention. But just the where there is much faultiness and error and no acreverse do I appreciate a privilege seldom extended to countability! My dear mother was patient, and most children that of conversation and explanation of the indulgent of my chattings and surmisings. But there objects which they have seen.

was no system of questioning and explaining, and setOutward 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 com But as I would say, this fine idea took large possesmunicate their ideas, and to speak what they have sion of me, and threw all quiet things into shade and heard and evidently noticed. And this teaching, as obscurity. This excitement, by the way, was precocombined with the book, were, of the two, matter of cious, out of course, and mischievous. I think, had more advantage. Of course this method implies either the more quiet but far nobler idea of fortitude and of a separate teaching, or what were far preferable, if con- self-sustaining magnanimity as resting in God and fuvenient, domestic instruction.

turity, been then presented to me, even as it was, I I once heard Tristam Burges remark, that “the bet- | could not have understood them-I had meddled with ter part of teaching was that which was never paid something beyond myself, and as I could take but parfor"-never stipulated for; namely, oral instruction and tial views of it, I was incapable of arriving at a fair explanations by occasional lecturing. A faithful teacher estimate. There must have been an undue tendencyfails not to do this, if time permits. But time does how should it be watched-already established in me, not permit, in any other than in a limited school. to prefer things of striking and conspicuous effect, to

But to my subject of children's misconceptions of the more quiet tenor of common life. And yet, how things. I remember when a child, for instance, of might this deep bosom have been turned within upon catching in the conversation of two, the phrase, "died itself! Alas! it took the world, and time, and the of a broken heart.” I was a child, and you will be disasters and misfortunes of life, to disabuse me, and lieve quite a young one, when I tell you my misappre- to show me humanity as it is; and with some castings hension upon the subject. My mother's family was beyond, faint glimmerings of what it might be ! numerous, and there was often at the house a young But of the broken heart. I believed it not then to 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. I thought it was something fine, signal, heroical; yet How lovely is the philosophy of Goldsmith's expresworthy of all pity. I conceived it was a matter of vo- sion, that “when mortality is oppressed by sufferings lition, and that the catastrophe was striking and instant; || too strong for her to bear, nature kindly steps in and and that as the heart (my idea of the heart itself was shields her with insensibility.” And such is the coup mixed and confused) broke, it snapped and went off | de grace of a broken heart. something like a percussion gun; that every body heard Now there is much faultiness in our whole planit, and that sorrow filled every bosom. There was nevertheless, so the lines have fallen. And will many something satisfying and sweet in this sympathy. How a mother accept this little homilectic—will she dissect at fault was my trusting ignorance: and altogether it article by article-will she trace the sinuosities and had a morbid desire of a like fate—a sort of envy of detect the germ of error, that so she may set her own those who had been wretched enough to excite so much child aright before she shall have aberrated far into commisseration and notoriety; and I am afraid that this ll wrong? Will she keep her away from the hearing of




the signal talker of striking things? And instead, will The next day the Indians began to collect at the she nourish in her heart the gentle regards of what is school-house at an early hour. Fish was one of the sweet, and quiet, and good, and most valuable. So first who attended ; and as soon as L. Rogers arrived, shall that experience which has been bitter to the one, Fish sent him to me with the following message:

My be, by the grace of God, rendered subservient and salu- brother, I know what I promised to do to-day, but I am tary to the many—and prove a seedling of sweet savor, afraid I cannot do it; for after I went home last night, even where hearts and hopes shall perish not, but live I was all the time thinking about those important words and find their proper aliment in obeying and loving their you explained to us out of God's Book, and it so tenCreator.

MENTORIA. dered and broke my heart to pieces, that I know I can

not speak to-day, for I cannot keep from shedding tears

all the time. If you think it will be best for me to Original.

speak, I will try to say a few words; but I know that I THE SHAWNE E MISSION. cannot speak more than two or three minutes. But I

understand that a considerable number have made up The following notice of incidents which occurred among the Shawnee Indians, is extracted from a history of that mission, their minds to join, and I think the best way will be now in preparation for the press, by Rev. Thomas Johnson, who to give them the opportunity to do so, for the first thing for many years has been a successful laborer and actual super- | before we commence worship." intendent of that mission.-Ed.

I concluded to take the old man's advice; and when These people were now regular attendants at the the appointed hour had arrived, I went into the schoolhouse of God, and anxiously inquiring to know what house where we worshiped, and told them I had been they should do to be saved. Temporal business was informed that some of them had made up their minds generally suspended, and we spent nearly all our time to try to become Christians; and that now we wanted in going from house to house to instruct them in this to know how many were determined to leave their old new way. At length a considerable number of them ways, and follow the words which Jesus Christ had resolved, that on the next Sabbath they would go and given us: that we wished all who had come to this unite with the Christian people, with a fixed purpose conclusion would come forward while we were singing, to lead a new life. Nearly all the week was spent in and give us their names. So we commenced singing, preparing for this solemn occasion. Those who had

“Am I a soldier of the cross," &c. determined to take this step, were deeply solicitous to All looked as solemn as death. Fish rose first. Supget as many of their friends as possible to go with ported by his staff, he came forward with a deliberate them; while others preferred waiting sometime longer, step, his head white with the snows of more than sevto witness the result of these new movements before enty winters, and reached out his trembling hand; at they ventured to take so important a step.

the same moment the big tears began to roll down his On Saturday in the afternoon, several of the leading withered cheeks, which seemed to say that he had given men of the band met at the mission-house, and I en-Christ his heart. Not a word was spoken, but all who deavored to explain to them the nature of the atone could, continued singing. Fish returned in the same ment made by the death and sufferings of Jesus Christ. deliberate manner to that part of the house whence he We translated some of the plainest passages of Scripture came, and took his seat. His oldest son then arose to them on this subject. All appeared to be deeply in- and followed the example of his father; and after he terested, especially Fish, who sat in solemn silence had returned to his seat, a third came forward. By during these exercises. Before we parted, we conversed this time every face in the house was bathed in tears ; with regard to the best course to be pursued on the ap- and they continued to come in the same deliberate manproaching Sabbath; for we all knew that it would be ner, one at a time, until nineteen had approached and an important crisis with us. It was agreed that it solemnly pledged themselves to be on the Lord's side. would be best for me to preach, and explain as fully as We then united in prayer to God, and took a text, and possible the plan of salvation. L. Rogers was to inter- tried in the best manner we could, to direct these bropret; and then Fish, as he was the oldest man in the ken-hearted sinners to “the Lamb of God, who taketh band and their chief, should speak and give his views away the sin of the world.” But we confess we felt of the Christian religion, and so explain it that all their more like praising God for what he had already wrought, young people could understand it; and this being done, than like preaching; but we made the best improveit was also agreed we would then propose that all who ment we could of the occasion, and God owned his wished to be Christians, and follow Jesus Christ and word, and applied it with power to the hearts of those listen to his words, should come forward and give us who heard. their hands, and we would write their names in a book. After the sermon was over, we told them if any more Fish promised to comply with his engagement by speak-had made up their minds to go with us, they could then ing, and also to lead the way, and set a good example come forward, and we would take their names with to his people by going forward first, and thus show those who had started in the fore-part of the meeting: 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



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 Many others spoke nearly to the same effect, and we the floor, but if possible, get under it. To use his own gave each of them advice as we thought their respeclanguage, his “heart was tendered and broken to pieces.” || tive conditions required. In conclusion we sang, and I have no doubt but many of them, even on this day, L. Rogers prayed in the Shawnee language. We then by the aid of the Holy Spirit, were enabled to believe told them that we would have class meeting again the on Jesus Christ to the joy and comfort of their souls. next Thursday, at the same time of the day, dismissed Though their information on the subject of this great them, and went home. change was so limited that they could not tell whence Accordingly we met the next week, and told them it came, yet they were fully aware that a heavenly that we only wished to hear what had taken place with breeze had passed through their hearts, and could say, them since our last class meeting, and that we did not “One thing I know, whereas I was blind, now I see;" wish them to tell the same things again. They arose or to express it in their own simple language, as they | as before, one by one, and expressed their feelings in a frequently did when alluding to this meeting, “When very simple, yet appropriate manner. One very plain I went to meeting that day, and gave my hand to go and unassuming man arose, and stood for sometime with the Christian people, I felt very poor and weak in before he spoke: he then said, “ My brothers and sismy heart; but when I heard about Jesus, and gave my ters, me cannot tell you good how me feel. Me feel heart up to him, ever since that time I have felt better." just this way, like me getting nearer to God all the This was the experience of a majority of those who time, and my heart feel glad.” Now these people had joined with us on that day.

never been in class meetings among Christians before, Soon after this we explained to them the nature of and consequently had no opportunity of learning the Christian baptism. We told them that it was necessa- different ways in which Christians express their feelry 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 con- the feelings of simple, honest hearts before God; and secration of themselves to him in the name of the to us, who had been acquainted with their language Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. They before they were brought under this gracious influence, accordingly came forward, asked for, and obtained bap- these things were of the most thrilling interest, and we tism. We also told them that it was customary with were constrained to acknowledge that the Holy Ghost us to have what we called a class meeting. So we ap- | had been poured out upon them as well as upon us. pointed class meeting, to be held at Fish's house, every For one I was constrained to acknowledge, that if I Thursday in the afternoon. When we met, we told || had previously entertained doubts with regard to the them that in these meetings all spoke, men and women, | divinity of the Christian religion, they would all have and told how they a!l felt in their hearts.

been swept away, by beholding the power of God as For a short time they all sat in silent self-examina- displayed in the conversion of these poor Indians. tion, and then Fish, the old chief, arose and spoke in From this time they continued to walk in the fear substance as follows: "My brothers, a few days ago, of the Lord, and the comfort of the Holy Ghost; and when I was baptized, my heart felt very bad, and as I their number increased, more or less, nearly every week. returned from meeting I thought I would pray; so I We now began to call on native men to pray in public, left the road and went into the woods, and kneeled and they also soon commenced prayer in their families. down by the side of a big log, and prayed. I soon felt This was a heavy cross to them, but they seldom ever that my burden was taken away, and my heart made refused, and would perform this important duty with glad; and I have felt the same way ever since.” He much fervor and simplicity, and with becoming Christhen resumed his seat. A woman, who is generally tian courage. We also generally, after preaching, calvery diffident and timid, arose next, and stood for some- || led on one of their leading men to follow by way of time, wiping away the tears from her cheeks, before she exhortation, and to explain the subject in as simple a could get her feelings suppressed enough to speak. She manner as possible, for the benefit of the youth and then said, “My brothers and sisters, I never heard any others, who could not readily understand a sermon thing about Jesus until lately. When I went to meet- || preached in the usual way through an interpreter. ing, and heard how he suffered and died to save poor And these native men, placed in this responsible rela. sinners, my heart felt very poor and weak, and I thought || tion, soon became greatly interested for the salvation



[ocr errors]

of their kindred according to the flesh. While trying || against nearly every member of his class! but espe-
to 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 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 ap-
heard 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 this we can see something of the perseverance
from God's Book. Here we are told that Jesus, the of these native men, to save their people from deserting
Son of God, died to save us; and now, if we are sorry the fold of Christ. How often do we find class-leaders,
for our sins and break off from them, and believe in and preachers too, among ourselves, who, instead of
Jesus, and pray to him, we may all obtain good hearts, imitating the zeal of these converted Shawnees, and
and be saved in heaven when we die. We did not appointing two class meetings a week for delinquent
know this until our preachers brought these good words classes, give them up altogether, when the members
to us.”

become indifferent in attendance, and thus suffer whole In the fall of 1832, the Rev. E. T. Peery was ap- || classes to become scattered. Perhaps a part may retain pointed missionary to the Shawnees, and I was appoint- the form of godliness, while many others turn back ened to take charge of the Indian Mission district, yet tirely to “the weak and beggarly elements," and their continued my residence at the Shawnee mission. | last state becomes worse than the first. From observaBrother Peery taught the school, preached to the In- tion and experience we hesitate not to affirm, that in dians, and also attended to other pastoral duties. Dur- | most cases these sad consequences might be prevented ing this conference year we had strong persecutions by the united exertions of the preachers and official from the Pagan party. They would call the Christian members of the Church, whom the Holy Ghost has in Indians singers and kneelers, and tell many extravagant a very important sense appointed to watch over his falsehoods about things said to have occurred at the dock, had they the diligence and perseverance of these meetings; and they did not even stop at this, but killed converted Indians. Will not these rise up in judgtheir hogs, supposing they could do this with impunity. ment and condemn many a formal and cold-hearted But the Christians persevered, and continued to increase professor of religion? For they, by their diligent efin number, and also in the knowledge and love of God. || forts, show that they consider the salvation of the soul Our society had become too large to meet profitably in a matter of the first and greatest importance; while one class, so we divided them into several classes, and many, who have had much greater privileges, and who appointed native leaders to each class. We would also have long professed to be the followers of Christ, by an attend ourselves when convenient, and assist them. undue attention to worldly business, lukewarmness in This worked very well.

their souls, or a sheer neglect of the means of grace, We would frequently call the leaders together, and suffer their seats at the house of God to be vacated, and converse with them relative to the general interests of say to the world that they consider the Christian religthe society; and give such advice as we thought wouldion a “cunningly devised fable;” or to say the least, a enable the leaders to meet their classes in the most pro- subject of minor importance. fitable manner.

We would call the name of every The Indians, who are generally reserved and backmember in each class, and inquire of their respective ward in expressing themselves to white men on the leaders how they were prospering in the divine life; and subject of religion, now began to throw off that reserve, whenever a leader thought he could not succeed in and talk more freely to us; as they had by this time bringing back a delinquent, he would ask for assistance, become convinced that we were their friends. That and we would appoint a committee to go with him; and the reader may more readily understand what I mean, they were generally successful, especially when several I will relate a conversation which took place between of them went together.

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 Eng. Rogers, 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 li him very well; consequently he considered me his true



friend, and believed that I would not tell him any thing || ner as he had been, he had found a way to become a which was not correct. I had frequently spoken to him Christian and obtain a new heart, on the subject of religion, and endeavored to persuade I have related the case of this man more in detail him to come and hear preaching, but never could suc- than I would have done, from the fact that I have been ceed in getting him to attend. I afterward met him convinced, from many opinions which I have heard one day, at the house of our old brother Fish. I be-l expressed about the Indians, that their true condition, lieve there were no persons present but this man, Fish's while destitute of the light of the Gospel, is but imperson Paschal, and myself. Fortunately Paschal had fectly understood. For I have heard many persons now got to be a pretty good interpreter, especially in express themselves as though they thought that the Inprivate conversation, and I thought that on this occa-dians, and other heathens, were an innocent class of sion he interpreted better than I had ever known him. human beings, living according to the best light they I said to the Indian man above alluded to, “My friend, have, and that many of them will get to heaven, and I would be glad to have you with us when we meet to that it is not important to send them the Gospel; for gether to worship God, and see you listen to his words.”|| if this light should be introduced among them, and He studied a few minutes, and then said, "My friend, they should neglect to improve it, (as many of them I do not know how to understand what you mean. probably would,) more of them would be lost than You talk to me about going to meeting and trying to though they were left in their present condition. be a Christian, like you thought I could be a Christian. Now if these views be correct, we who feel such Do you not know me? Do you not know that I have great solicitude for the salvation of our own children, been a very wicked man? That I have been a great act very unwisely when we send them to the Sabbath drunkard and a great liar, and have done a great many school, and take them with us to the house of God, other bad things? But I believe that you are my that they may learn to remember their Creator in the friend, and that you would not tell me any thing which days of their youth, and become acquainted with the is not true.”

important lessons taught by Him who said, “Suffer I told him that I knew he had been a wicked man, littie children to come unto me, and forbid them not; and that we had all been sinners; and that if Jesus for of such is the kingdom of heaven." If the views Christ had not come to save us, none of us could be alluded to are correct, it would be better for us to take come Christians: but that Jesus had come to save sin- our children, before they have any opportunity of beners, and that he by the grace of God had tasted death coming acquainted with the Gospel, into some heathen for every man—for the red man as well as for the white land, where they could never hear the good tidings of man, for there was no difference with God, “who had great joy, and be sent to hell for neglecting to obey the made of one blood all nations of men,” and had given joyful sound; and where there will be a strong probahis Son a ransom for all; and that now he commanded bility of their getting to heaven by living according to all men everywhere to repent and believe the Gospel. the “best light they have,” which is but the faint taper That if we are sorry for our sins, and will forsake them, handed down for many ages, and which was first struck and believe in Jesus Christ, he will pardon our sins, by the scanty revelation which God was pleased to however many and great they may have been, and that make of his will concerning men, before and for a short he will send the Holy Spirit to change our hearts and time after the deluge, ere the humun family became make them good, so that we may be able to love and scattered. If we add to this, that the Spirit of God serve him and get to heaven when we die; and this does reprove, even the heathen world, in some dewas the reason why Christ commanded his apostles to gree, "of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment," go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every we have all the light which reaches the minds of creature, that all might know the way to be saved, and heathens, and this light within them becomes darkness that this was the reason why we came and preached to by the ignorance and superstition which have beclouded the Shawnees; for God's Book told us that he was not their minds. willing that any should perish, but that all should turn The true state of the case appears to be this, that to him and live.

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

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-llown consciences and their own acknowledged princi


« PoprzedniaDalej »