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and deist, occasioned lukewarmness in many
who at first were ardent in the cause, and led to a conclusion either that the subjects of such philanthropy are incapable of receiving its benefits; that the Almighty has decreed that the time is not yet come for their condition to be ameliorated; or that such attempts are made merely for interested and similar ends.. I appeal to all who have had an opportunity of knowing the general character of missionaries, whether the following brief view is not the mode by which five sixths of them have been selected, Sermons are preached; prayer meetings are held avowedly to promote the conversion of the Heathen; a cry is heard, “Who will devote himself to the service of God.” Hence many of acknowledged weakness of intellect, and some whose pecuniary embarrassments lead them to seek for support in this way, offer to undergo perils by land and by water in this, to their heated or interested imaginations, glorious work. These persons are accordingly sent to an academy to learn languages, the capacity for which constitutes a chief ingredient in their quali. fication. They are then sent forth, at a considerable expense, to evangelize the Heathen; and their great aim is to preach what they call the Gospel to the old, and to civilize the young, by what I denominate, for sake of distinction,“ book education”.
That so much failure, nay, that almost uniform failure, has arisen from the employment of such instruments, should surely have been expected ; for, while I freely admit that of all undertakings this is
among the most praise-worthy, if followed with a single eye to the glory of God, and good of man, I feel convinced that none' requires móre 'profound knowledge of human nature, and intimate acquaintance, not only with the passions of others, but with
When I read the manner in which the Lord Jesus Christ taught his disciples, I find that the doctrines concerning himself and his kingdom were the last things he inculcated, and even then very sparingly. When questions, bearing on the subject, were excited by his conduct and actions, he answered them; but never made the doctrinal the prominent part of his mission. His first public act was in administering to the amusement and festivity of the people by converting water into wine; the next was attention to their sick; on another occasion he pro
provided them with food; and his wholé divine' life, was spent in going about promoting their bodily comforts, having in) ultimate view the good of their souls; so that the great object was kept, as it were, in the back-ground. See how merciful he was to their offences : how he repressed all severity in judging or condemning; and evermore refused to be a ruler, assuming only the meek and lowly rank of one that served!
In short, let us carefully examine the means which He, who had the hearts of all men in his hands, and who could turn them as he pleased, adopted for the instruction of mankind, and much light will be afforded in all future attempts to instruct those na tions denominated heathen or savage. The Mora
vians, as before mentioned, have been more suc. cessful than all other sects put together, in conse. quence, I conceive, of their having had more regard to the Christian plan as adverted to. b The following hints I offer with humility, as means which, from my observation of man in his natural and polished state, appear, to me at least, likely to succeed :
is zo The Indians, as already shewn, are fond of silver rings, collars, and other trinkets,as ornaments of dress; of music, fishing, and hunting, as sources of amusement; and are by no means insensible to the bodily advantages arising from a store of food and clothing against the time of want.
Upon these, their main desires, I would found my plan,'t fline
I would select a blacksmith, provide him with a portable forge, portable scantlings of iron, and all necessary instruments for polishing iron and copper. There should also be a man uniting the carpenter's and cart-maker's trades, well furnished with suitable tools. To these I would add one or two persons who could play on the clarionet, flute, violin, or other musical instrument of simple construction. This establishment should be under the
superintendence of a man of discretion, divested of gloomy habits and those false views that connect austerity of manners with the essentials of Christianity. He should make allowance for the prejudices and passions of those under his charge, that he might the better give them a just direction ; and,
especially in the commencement of his authority, he should deal tenderly with offences, redoubling his care with regard to the delinquent. -4}103:05 HIOA,
Under the eye of such a person, the operations should begin in a fertile place, in the neighbourhood of such of the tribes as' might desire an establishment of this nature ; making the pleasures of music, or the possession of manufactures, the reward for devoting themselves to industry. In this way I would assist them in building houses, so as to induce them to value a fixed habitation; and the house so built should belong to the tribe to bestow as they pleased. By repairing their tools and instruments of agriculture, assisting in raising their houses, instructing such as wished it to handle the axe for their own benefit, and making the hearing and learning of music the reward for industry, I should confidently hope to induce some few to abandon the migratory life they have hitherto led, which, in my opinion, is the most important point to be gained. After this shall be firmĪy established, "a time will gradually come on when the inculcation of book? knowledge 'will be highly beneficial; but in our early efforts it is worse than useless. If the Indian can be prevailed on to aid in building a house ; if he finds there a solace after his fatigues, and the means of allaying his hunger, I am warranted by all that I have seen and heard, in asserting that the best rudiments of civilization will be immovéably fixed.
The above establishment should be capable of being transferred from tribe to tribe. Its members
should have their wives and families with them; no man should be sent without his wife on any account. The party should, moreover, consist of persons duly sensible of the blessings and privileges of the Christian religion, and should at stated times assemble for worship, paying great attention to solemnity, decorum, and order, in doing so; yet having espe. cial care to avoid all kind of constraint with regard to the Indians, or any species of penalty for non-attendance on their part. The Lord's day should nevertheless be truly kept as a Sabbath by all, as far as cessation from worldly labour is concerned. The Indians should be told the reason of resting thereon: that such rest was at first instituted by God to perpetuate the remembrance of his having created the world, and all things therein; and latterly to keep in the minds of men the memory that Christ arose from the dead on the first day of the week, having completed the work of redemption. The good news of salvation to sinners of all nations, through the atonement on the cross, should be proclaimed with joy and praise and thanksgiving, and not with those gloomy severities, which are regarded as true piety by many. The Indians would thus be led to inquire concerning God and the Saviour; when portions of the Bible, descriptive of the attributes of the Most High, and the life of the Lord Jesus, should be read; carefully avoiding to pass from one portion until it should be firmly fixed in their recollection, (of which their capacity is great), nor until they desired to hear more.
These means, always