« AnteriorContinuar »
our manifold sins, beseeching him to take them away. We are told indeed, that a broken and contrite heart he will not despise; but we have no such heart to offer, until he himself breaks it and softens it. Let us go to his foot-stool, having nothing,—wanting everything and out of the abundance of his grace He will supply all our need. “ Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full."
Oh ! let me share the joy of those
Who journey'd from afar,
To follow Bethle'm's star ;
And mocked their anxious care,
The star of promise there.
There shone full many a brilliant light
Within proud Salem's walls,
In Herod's princely halls :
That glided still before,
To Bethle'm's cottage door.
Thus, Lord, vouchsafe my way to guide,
Direct my straying feet;
Till I with Jesus meet.
To reach that open door;
From Him to wander more!
THE LITTLE OSAGE CAPTIVE.
CHAP. III. (Continued from page 193, Volume, July to December, 1842.) By this timely and disinterested effort, another captive was obtained, and saved from a state of hopeless bondage. After an absence of thirteen days, during which time he travelled six hundred miles, Mr. Ross returned to Brainerd, and had the pleasure of committing the boy to the kind and faithful guardianship of the missionary family. He appeared to be much delighted with his new situation. He had forgotten his native tongue, but having been much with the white people, he could speak English with considerable fluency. Although he was very young, being even smaller than Lydia Carter, he discovered many traits of an active and sprightly mind. On being told by some one, that he would find a father and mother at Brainerd, he answered with quickness and animation, “ Yes, and bread too.”
By the missionaries he was named John Osage Ross, in honour of his kind deliverer.
Thus, by a number of remarkable providences, two little captives, belonging to the same tribe of Indians, were rescued, and placed in an insti. tution which afforded them every advantage for improvement. Another was still in bondage : but whether it would be possible to obtain ħer and place her in the same institution with her ransomed sister, could not be determined.
As the institution in which Lydia Carter was placed, is one which has excited deep interest among all the friends of the missionary cause, it will be expected perhaps, by my young readers, that I should give some account of it.
The design of the institution is to instruct the natives in the Gospel; and to teach them the most necessary arts of civilized life. These ends are not pursued separately, but are carried on together.
To a person who visits Brainerd, the settlement appears like that of a numerous christian family; the members of which are employed in the various duties of civilized and christian life. Some are occupied in the field—some in the workshop-and some in the domestic cares of the family. The children of the Indians who are brought here for instruction, are provided with schools according to their sex, and taught the most useful branches in human and divine knowledge. When they are out of school, a part of their time is spent in relaxation, and a part in labour. The boys are taken to the farm, and taught the arts of husbandry; or to the shop of the mechanic, where they are instructed in some useful trade : while the girls learn to spin and to weave, to knit and to sew, or take their turns in waiting upon the table, or serving in the kitchen. When the hour for devotion comes, all are assembled to offer unto God the sacrifice of morning or evening prayer. On the Sabbath they repair to the house of worship, and unite in its solemn services. The gospel is preached not only to those who belong to the institution, but to as many of the natives from the surrounding country, as can be induced to attend. The congregation assembled upon these occasions is not large, but one of the most interesting which a minister ever addresses. For besides the missionaries, and teachers, and christian labourers, who, with their families attend, he beholds seated before him, from eighty to one hundred Indian
children, who are taught in the English language, and are growing up in all the habits of a civilized and christian people. Some of them have already made considerable progress in their education; and, in the judgment of charity, have been truly converted to God. Assembled with them, are many of their Indian parents and friends, who listen with fixed and silent attention to what the preacher is saying, and not unfrequently drop the tear of sincere and lively interest, while he opens to them the word of God, and shows them the way of salvation.
These things, the writer states, not from information merely, but from what his own eyes have seen, and his ears heard, while sojourning a few weeks at this delightful spot. He has seen an Indian warrior who was famed for his courage, melt into tenderness on hearing the love and mercy of God through Jesus Christ described ; and he has known him, the day after, to come several miles that he might disclose the burden on his mind, and ask the missionaries the plain and solemn question, “ Can you tell me what God wants me to do? And he has seen this same warrior, humbly sitting at the feet of Jesus, and rejoicing in him, as his all-sufficient Saviour. The habits and feelings of the savage were no longer perceived: they were exchanged for those of the industrious man, and consistent Christian. · Nor have these proofs of the presence and blessing of God been seldom witnessed.
Numbers of the natives, and others who reside in the vicinity of Brainerd, have been induced to renounce their sins, and embrace the religion of Christ. Some of them have been ornaments to the church. Of the children and youth who have been instructed here, and given evidence of piety, several have already been the means of much good to their acquaintance and friends, and promise to be yet more extensively useful to their tribe. Thus, while one of them is instructing a school of Indian' children, at the distance of one hundred miles from Brainerd, where she has already witnessed the conversion of her parents, and of some of her other relatives; another, who is her brother, is pursuing his studies in the missionary school at Cornwall, in Connecticut, and qualifying himself to preach the Gospel to his ignorant countrymen. Several other youths, whose course of instruction was begun at Brainerd, are expected to become missionaries and teachers in their native tribe. Such was the institution to which little Lydia Carter was brought. The advantages which it afforded her for improvement were great. If, in addition to this, we consider that Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlain had adopted her as their own child, and that they ever after treated her with the care and affection of the tenderest of parents, it may well be doubted, whether there are many children, even in Christian lands, whose situation is happier, than was her's. When she arrived at the institution, the missionaries supposed that she might be about five years of age. She had no knowledge of the English language; but so rapidly did she acquire it, that in less than a year from the time she entered the school, she was able to speak it as well as children commonly do who have learned no other language.