Imágenes de páginas

cut, accompanied him on the occasion. Eunice, with her husband and children, was now prevailed upon, though with great difficulty, to accompany these brethren to Longmeadow, and there spend a week in receiving the attentions and largesses of a crowd of friends and visitants, who flocked from Deerfield, Mansfield, Lebanon, and all the towns in this via cinity. The circumstances attending this whole scene, as they are related by one who is now living, (old Madain Ely,) and who was an eye witness to many of them, are very singular, striking, and deeply impressive ; but I may not recount them at this time. Eunice with her husband, children, and some other connexions, at 3 different times after this, came down from Canawaga, to Longmeadow, and in one instance passed several months, visiting their friends in various parts of New England. They were always, while here, treated with the greatest attention, and returned to Canada loaded with presents of all sorts. In one instance the Legislature of this Commonwealth, made them a very handsome grant, and proposed to them an annual stipend, with a permanent settlement, on condition they would take up their abode in New England ; but Eunice could by no considerations be persuaded to comply with the proposal; the only reason which she offered, however, was, that living among heretics would endanger her, and her children's salvation.

" Her grandson Thomas, (Eleazer's father,) was down on a visit in 1784, bringing letters from her, and from General Schuyler, to Dr. Stephen Williams, her brother, who was then in his grave, having been dead about 2 years, Thomas came down again in 1796, or beginning of 1797, when it was proposed to him, to send on one of his sons to be educated amongst us; he appeared pleased with the proposal. In December, 1799, at Deacon Ely's request, a letter was forwarded to Thomas, by one of our neighbours who was going to Montreal, in which he was desired to forward by that opportunity one of his sons to us, agreeable to the proposal which had before been made. Accordingly, about the middle of January, 1800, he came on with two of his sons, Eleazer and John Sir Wathie; he left them with us, and they constantly attended school, learning to speak, to read, and to write our language, in all which branches they made good proficiency, especially Eleazer ; their father requested Deacon Ely, with whom they lived, to instruct them in all kinds of farming bu. siness. It was an object with us to have them retain a knowledge of their mother tongue, and this Eleazer did; but John, who was 5 years younger than his brother Eleazer, soon forgot it. In the winter of 1803, their parents both came down on a visit, and informed us, that unless they took back with them one or both of their sons, the · Priest, who from the beginning had expressed great dissatisfaction, would excommunicate their inother. : " at length they consented to leave Eleazer for 2 years longer, and we were willing that they should take John home, that he might regain his native language, which he accomplished in the course of a year, and then returned to us, have ing lost little of his English learning. He continued in this quarter about four years more, when, having learned to read and write decently, and perform all kinds of farming busi. ness tolerably well, he returned to his father, where he now is ; having never manifested an attachment for books, nor any abiding sense of religious subjects. Eleazer is able to speak and write readily his native language, and has employed many leisure hours in translating parts of the sacred Scriptures into Indian. He expresses a very extraordinary affec. tion for the Bible, and ever since he became hopefully pious, his whole soul seems swallowed up with the idea of spending his life in preaching the gospel of the Son of God to his countrymen. He told me when I saw him last December, that he had read 6. books of Virgil's Æneid, several of Cicero's orations, and one or more of the Evangelists, in Greek; he expresses a strong desire to obtain a knowledge of Greek and Hebrew, as what will be of great advantage to him in his attempis to expose the errors and fallacies of the Catholic priests.

« With respect to his going to College, could he obtain that instruction which is necessary to qualify him for a missionary, and the honours of some University, without going through the whole round of college studies, perhaps it would be best. For some time past, I must say, that to me he has appeared to be becomingly modest, and in every respect more and more pleasing and promising. And since he took up a hope, he has ever had apparently but one mind, as to the object to which he should devote all his abilities and acquisitions for instructing his fellow-sinners, and especially the Indian tribes, in the glorious Religion of the Blessed Redeemer."

The Rev. Mr. Hale, of Westhampton, in a letter dated April 4, 1811, informs us.“ The youth of whom you request information has resided in my family most of the time, since December, A. D. 1809. Previous to that time, I had been informed, that he was · VOL. IV.-No. VI. 2 X

thought to be piously disposed; as I have since, as far as I can judge, found him to be. I believe all his acquaintance, who understand Gospel religion, view him, as in a judg. ment of charity, truly devoted to God in the Lord Jesus Christ. He appears also strongly desirous to promote the salvation of his kindred.

“ His more judicious friends, so far as I have had opportu. nity to learn, think him promising, as to talents; some. thing above the common level of men, of equal opportunity and advantages. I am ready to say the same is my own opinion.

* In estimating his ability, it is to be remembered, that his mind began late to receive cultivation. He came to New'England, I understand, in the eleventh year of his age, A.

D. 1800, ignorant of the English language, and able not much more than to tell the letters of the Indian. A mind so long neglected, I think, is not to be expected to have that aptness to acquire literature, which it would have had if it had been more early cultivated.

“ His conversation, like that of all foreigners, evidences that it is not easy to gain the sounds of the English Alphabet, unless they be learned in early childhood. The difficul. ty extends to the reading of Latin and Greek; and probably is a greater embarrassment in learning those languages, than would be expected, by persons who have not particular. ly attended to it. I therefore think it consistent with the opinion I have expressed, to add, that I do not consider him as acquiring the knowledge of the learned languages with equal readiness as the generality of our children. And I think it probable the same will prove true, in a degree, of the sciences generally. The same, I imagine, may with truth be said of all Indian youths, with whom attempts are made to give them a learned education.

« On the other hand, their knowledge of the disposition and habits of the Indians, gives them an advantage in having access to their brethren, that men educated from infancy in civilized life, cannot easily acquire. I ought to add, that Eleazer Williams has obtained a degree of information of men and historical facts relative to the country, beyond what is common, to gentlemen of his years. He has also a talent for writing, which I think may be cultivated to advantage..

“Some years ago, the Trustees of the Hampshire Mission. ary Society, (which is included in this county,) voted to patronize him; appropriated a sinall sum of 50 dollars for his use; and appointed a committee to superintend the expen

diture, &c. The gentlemen appointed were, Rev. Dr. Lathrop, Justin Lly, Esq.of Westspringfield, and Rev. Richard S. Storrs, of Long-meadow. Dr. Lathrop, on account of his advanced age, wishing, a year or two since, to be excused from further service, Col. Dwight, of Springfield, was appointed to act in his place. This committee have directed his education so far as to provide him a place to be instructed. But they have no funds, except from occasional gratuitous supplies. The general Court of the Commonwealth has made several grants. The H. M. Society paid last year 103 dollars, in addition to what it had before given. As to what is future, and more than half of the expense since he has been with me, I know of no provision which is certain ; and I conclude no determinate plan of procedure is formed. I received him into my care on application of the committee I have mentioned, and have had very little opportunity to know their views respecting him. What is future, depends on the disposals of providence, and the influence of the Holy Spirit in *** opening the hearts of men to aid his cause. Whether it will be judged best that he go tn college, I do not know. His present knowledge of languages, I do not think sufficient to enable him to be admitted without some further study."

We now present the letter itself of this young person, hoping that the spirit it breathes, and the manner in which it is written, taken in connexion with his history and condition as above exhibited, will prompt the pious and the liberal to

give that aid which will be honourable to them, and grateful 4 to him.

.: “AGREEABLY to your request, and my promise, I take this opportunity to write you a line by the mail, as I find no private conveyance. Your kind attention and friendship, which you manifested towards me when I was at New York, has made a deep impression on my mind. I have great reason to be thankful that God moves the hearts of so many of his dear .children to have compassion on me; yea, eyen to afford me some assistance in my great undertaking. I consider you, sir, as one of those whose heart is engaged in advancing the Redeemer's kingdom in the world. * “ It seems that Godis now doing great things for his Church, It is my humble opinion, that never, since the days of the apostles, has there been so much, and such general attention

paid to the great object of spreading the Gospel, as at the present day. In Great-Britain, the Missionary zeal, it seems, continues with unabated fervour. It has planned and executed wonders. The smiles of heaven evidently accompany its exertions. In this country, animated by the example of the European Christians, and, I hope, directed by the same spirit of truth, many are taking vigorous measures for the salvation of the Heathen on our borders. Societies have been formed. Missionaries are now employed to proclaim glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, and good will towards men, to those who are sitting in the region and shadow of death. Is it not then, Sir, reasonable to expect, from the zeal with which so many of God's people appear to be animated at the present day, and their uncommon efforts for the upbuilding of Zion, that some glorious events in favour of the Church are about to take place ? How will the hearts of those, who in any manner are made instrumental in bringing about these glorious events, exult with joy and praise ? There is reason to hope, that the violent convulsions which), agitate so great a part of the earth, are a prelude to that happy state of things, spoken of in the prophetical writings, when nation shall no more rise up against nation, and the in., habitants of the earth shall learn war no more. O, Sir ! letthis hope animate us to do whatever lies in our power towards spreading the savour of the Redeemer's name; and to unite in devout prayer to God, that the kingdoms of this world may speedily become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; of whom it is said, His name shall endure for ever : his name shall be continued as long as the sun : and men shall be blessed in him : all nations shall call him blessed.

I hope the time is near, when that Gospel which began in Judea, and so wonderfully prevailed in the days of the Apos. tles, shall spread every where, and fill the whole eapth! To those who are the subjects of the great Redeemer, the interests of pure and vital godliness are inexpressibly dear; and the smallest advances towards the establishment of his gracious reign, where Satan rules in pagan darkness, must be pleasing in the highest degree. In this view, I cannot forbear to observe, that hopesul symptoms, it is thought, presage the approaching conversion of some of the savages of the wilderness, to Christ. It will certainly be a happy. preparation for their ingathering to our Redeemer, when the people who inhabit on the frontier settlements shall imbibe the Spirit of Jesus, and shall be made obedient to his Gospel, and thus, by their example, allure pagans to revere the name and religion of Immanuel.

« AnteriorContinuar »