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1807.] Account of John Norton, the Indian Translator. 323
Their meals were regular, their diet wholesome, and the preparations neat and cleanly. These things, however small to us, were of the last importance; and to be particularly observed in an institution designed not only to rescue the rising race from savage manners, but also to light up beacons, by which the parents might gradually be conducted into the same field of improvement.
The children were all neatly cloth ed, mostly in stripped cotton, or plain linen, manufactured in Tennessee, and made up by the master's wife, as each scholar stood in need. The females of my own congregation were often active in furnishing part of this supply. Young female youth, who had been the subjects of the remarkable revival of religion in our country, took the frocks off themselves and sent them to the Cherokee children.
On the 4th of July, 1805, the whole school appeared before a large concourse of red and white people, cloathed in one of their donations.
I was obliged to furnish blankets for the scholars to sleep on, as the use of beds was not known in the nation. This was an article of considerable expense, and on one occasion had nearly effected the ruin of the institution. In the fall of 1804, a considerable number of blankets were wanting; the money I had procured was so nearly expended, that I dared not lay it out for this article; and as by fatigues and exposures an inflammation had settled in one of my legs, which rendered it both painful and inconvenient to seek for supplies, I was reduced to considerable difficulty, until I conceived of the following expedient. In the October of this fall the annuity was distributed among the Cherokees. I then gave in the names of the children, as part of the nation, and by the influence of Col. Meigs the agent, and a principal Indian chief, I drew 26 blankets and 2 other articles; thus we had a comfortable supply for the winter.
The order of the day for school exercises is nearly the following: The children rise, pray, and wash; then the school opens by reading the scriptures, praise and public prayer; are engaged in lessons till breakfast; then have an hour for recreations;
are again engaged from 9 to 12; play 2 hours; then in school till evening. In the summer between sundown and dark, and in the winter between dark and 9 o'clock, they have spelling lessons, and close by singing a hymn, and prayer by the master. Then, just before the children he down, on their knees they commit themselves to the guardian arms of their indulgent Parent, and go to rest securely under his wing. I am, &c. GIDEON BLACKBURN.
To the Editors of the Panoplist. GENTLEMEN,
THE Panoplist of October mentions two thousand copies of St. John, in the Mohawk language, as lately printed at London, at the expense of the British and Foreign Bible Society. I send you an account of the translator, taken from the Monthly Magazine of September, 1805. The account is said to be drawn from the source of intimate acquaintance and knowledge. This Indian chief, had just visited England, and was known there by the name of John Norton, but among his own tribe, Tryoninhokaraven, which signifies "the open door," because, by his negociation he had once opened the door of peace to his tribe, after a long and bloody war. He is a chief of what were formerly termed the Five Nations, to which confederacy a sixth has recently been added. They were driven from the Genesee river, their original habitation, in 1783, and established themselves on the Ouse or Grand river, that runs into the north-eastern extremity of Lake Erie. This chief went to England to obtain from government a confirmation of a certain grant of land to his countrymen. His father appears to have been an Indian, and his mother a native of Scotland. He was educated at a British school from the age of thirteen to that of fifteen. He displayed uncommon eloquence in his discourse. "His observations were acute, and the language in which they were conveyed was strong and elegant. In history, both ancient and modern, he is well versed; in geography he displays peculiar informa
tion. On every subject, connected with his country, his knowledge is minute. His person is tall and muscular, his eye large and expressive. His thirst after every species of knowledge is extreme; but his par. ticular attention is directed to obtai every information that may improve the condition of his country.
"Tryoninhokaraven is a Christian, as are most of his nation. He has completed a translation of the gospel of St. John into the Mohawk language, of which three thousand copies have been printed. He intends to proceed with the Evangelists Matthew and Luke, the Five Nations being already in possession of a Mohawk translation of St. Mark, and the Liturgy of the English church by the well known chief, Col. Brandt. The religion of Tryoninhokaraven appears to me the purest Christianity. every conversation, which I had with him on that subject, he expressed faith, humility, and brotherly love for all men. Seldom have I met with a character so beautifully interesting, even in its smaller ornaments, or who so completely possessed the virtues of a patriot and a Christian, as John Norton, Tryoninhokaraven.” Bath, July 21, 1805.
P. S. My friend received, when he was christened, the baptismal names of John Norton. H. J.
THE ANNUAL REPORT OF THE
THE members and friends of the Hampshire Missionary Society at this anniversary meeting, will unite with the Trustees in offering praises to God, that his gracious providence continues to smile on our endeavours to advance his kingdom. Our missionaries, who were employed the last year, were all by his goodness enabled to complete their missions. He protected their lives, preserved their health, and, it is believed, favoured them with a measure of his Spirit. They were in almost every instance received kindly, entertained hospita
bly, and listened to with attention. The scattered friends of Jesus, who had the pleasure to hear them, expressed their gladness of heart and their gratitude both to God and to the Missionary Society.
Their missions together make an hundred and two weeks. Rev. Jo
seph Blodget, laboured twenty; Rev. David H. Williston, eighteen; Rev. John Dutton, twelve; Rev. Royal Phelps, twenty six; and Rev. Nathaniel Dutton, twenty six weeks. The three gentlemen first named were employed in the counties of Kennebeck and Oxford in the District of Maine; the other two in Onondago and Chenango counties, and in the country between Black river and the lakes Oneida and Ontario in New. York.
The fidelity, diligence and zeal with which they performed their missions fully meet the approbation of the Trustees. Beside delivering two, and frequently three sermons on a sab. bath, and preaching in some instan ces nearly every day in the week, they gave religious instructions in families, conversed and prayed with the sick, officiated at funerals; visited schools and catechised the children, formed several churches, and as fit subjects were presented, administer ed baptism, and the holy supper of our Lord. With these services they connected the dispersion of the socie ty's books; with which they endeav oured to encourage children in learn ing the catechism, and people of all ages in seeking godly instruction by reading as well as by hearing, and in attending public worship though not favoured with a preacher.
Missionaries are again sent out. Rev. David H. Williston and Rev. Alvan Sanderson, went in March to the District of Maine, to labour thirty one weeks, each in the field visited the last year by Mr. Williston, with liberty to extend it farther eastward. Rev. Royal Phelps and Mr. Ebenezer Wright commenced a tour in June through the settlements on and near the river St. Lawrence, in which they are to spend twelve and an half weeks. Rev. Elijah Lyman of Brookfield, Vermont, and Mr. Walter Chapin entered on a mission the last of July, to the destitute settlements in Vermont.
They are to continue their work, Mr. Lyman ten, Mr. Chapin twelve weeks. No communications have been received from the last named gentle men. Those in New-York had been on missionary ground a few days; on the 16th of June, one of them writes, The people so far have given us a very welcome reception, and are very obliging and attentive to the preaching of the gospel." From those in the District of Maine more information has been received, both pleasing and interesting.
The new settlements present to us a diversity of conditions. Some of them, become able to support Christian in. stitutions, are no longer dependent on the charity of missionary societies; but others lately commenced have but here and there a lonely family in the wilderness to excite the commiseration of the friends of souls. And many, that contain a considerable number of inhabitants, are no less needy; for, collected from different parts, of dissimilar habits, and of several denominations, as well as in many of them too insensible of the importance of religion willingly to give their money to purchase its privileges, they are in no favourable situation to supply themselves with the means of grace and salvation. The few among them who love the worship of God are weak; illiterate and unqualified teachers are at hand, who offer their services for little or no reward; characters proper to be employed are not readily found; to discriminate between them and dangerous pretenders, is not always easy, where impositions by immoral and erroneous men are too frequent. Under such circumstances the new settlements look to missionary societies for help. And it is believed help of real importance has been given. People, who, having gone from preaching and ordinances, were in danger of becoming heedless of both the duties and the hopes of Christianity, have been awakened to attention. An occasional sermon or a pious tract, impressed by the thought, that unknown and distant christian friends were concerned for their souls, has aroused their sleeping mind and excited it to activity. A gracious God, hearing the prayers
which have accompanied the exer. tions of the pious and charitable, has blessed them with different degrees of success in various places.
Family religion is of consequence encouraged and increased, public worship is attended in places where it was not before observed, churches are established, and the settlement of ministers promoted. The morals of many individuals are reformed, and charity requires us to believe that not a few souls, that were perishing in unbelief, are recovered to the way of life, and will be an eternal crown of joy to those whose alms and labours of love have promoted their salvation. Rev. Nathaniel Dutton in his journal observes, "It evidently appears that missions have been the means of great good in this country. I have conversed with several who dated their conviction and conversion under such missionaries."
These are not unimportant fruits of missionary exertions. The Saviour of the world preached several years, and wrought many miracles to make but a small number of disciples. To regenerate men, is a difficult and interesting work, and however successful the Holy Ghost will render it in the day of Christ's power, his love and zeal teach us, to view no labour lost, nor any expense useless, which God makes a mean of saving, if it be only a few or even one soul, for whom the Saviour paid the price of his blood. But,
To promote religion and the salvation of men in the new settlements, is not the only inducement to liberality to the missionary cause. Donations to the Lord brought with a pious heart increase longings to see his glory. Give freely to him, and ardent will be your love and effectually fervent your prayers for the grace of the Holy Ghost. While reaching out your hand with the tender of the gospel to remote objects of charity, what will not be your earnest solicitude for souls that are near? With what trembling concern will you look upon your neighbours, upon your children, and on yourselves, that you receive not the grace of God in vain ? With what godly fervour will you then address the throne of grace for the effusions of God's Spirit, where means
are stadedly enjoyed, as well as where they are only occasionally used? God delights to hear prayer, the sincerity of which is witnessed by liberal sacrifices on his altar. In some blessed instances, while people were giving their substance to send the gospel to their destitute brethren, they have been awakened to a religious attention to their own souls. They sowed their carnal things and reaped spiritual things. The bread which they cast upon the waters, to feed people that were perishing for lack of knowledge, has been returned to themselves in the bread of life.
In ministering to the destitute in the new settlements, the perishing heathen are not forgotten, though little as yet has been done to carry them the words of eternal life. A covenant of friendship has been entered into with the Stockbridge Indians, as the opening of a door to their more western brethren. And fifty dollars have been appropriated, to be used as soon as opportunity offers. The committee are making inquiries and waiting for the providence of God to order circumstances favourably to employ a missionary or school master with a prospect of success.
Since the last annual meeting, $1329 91 have been expended, $981 58 1-2 have been paid to missionaries; $299 37 for books, including, the printing of the last Report, and the binding of 160 vols. and §41 95 1-2 for other expenses.
344 bound volumes and $31 pamphlets have been sent out for distribution. To replace the monies taken from the treasury $1511 30 have been received; of which $850 47 1-2 were contributed by towns and parishes in the county, besides $193 10 1-2 given by the Charitable Female Associations, 09 48 were contributed in the new settlements, $79 are donations of individuals out of the county, $119 were presented by the charitable Female Association of Whitestown, New-York, $41 20 were collected at the last annual meeting by public contribution; $187 30 were obtained by books, &c.
A more detailed statement and the audit of the Treasurer's accounts are contained in the Appendix; which show the promising state of our funds.
The Charitable Female Associa tions in the county have furnished for several years most of the funds for a large supply of books for distribu. tion, 8172 44 1-2 contributed by them remain in the treasury for future use. When Christ dwelt in flesh to preach to men, pious women accompanied him in his journeys; "who ministered to him of their substance." Many of this sex are now his friends, and are ready by both their offerings and their prayers to aid his kingdom. They evidence their love to him by kind acts to his redeemed, and zeal to serve his cause, as well as by attendance on his worship.
It was the character of Christ, that "he went about doing good." To do good is the character of his disciples. It is the way for them to benefit their generation and secure a blissful im mortality. The faith, which works by love, and produces imitation of Christ, is to everlasting life.
Alms and prayers united are efficacious. Offered in the name of Jesus for the advancement of his cause, they are acceptable to God, and promotive of the salvation of men. With how delicious a pleasure the pi ous female who gives her cent a week to the treasury of her dearest Lord, contemplates its extensive effects in spreading the knowledge of his name, as the Saviour of a perishing world? And with what devout satisfaction, will not godly husbands and fathers behold the piety of their wives and daughters in their liberality to Christ and prayerfulness for the prosperity of his kingdom? Strangers, that read the account of their deeds, have benevolent emotions excited in their own hearts. Many are stirred up to imitate what they approve. The sacred fame communicates from breast to breast. It is grateful to view the extensive spread of the missionary spirit, in a few years, through the Christian world, and its effects in Europe, in Asia, in Africa, and in America. The translation of the inspired scriptures into the languages of the east, in which hopeful progress has been made, the extensive dispersion of Bibles by Bible Societies in Europe, and the employment of missionaries to preach the gospel in many dark parts of the earth, as well as in the infant
plantations of our land, evidence the power of God in awakening the zeal of Christians in his cause, and encourage the hope that he will soon do great things for Zion.
It is an interesting age. The gates of hell are moved. The devil and wicked men are engaged. False philosophy and violence combine to delude and destroy. Terrible wars are wasting large portions of the earth, God is shaking the nations and punishing their sins.
All are called upon to exhibit a decided character. And who will not appear on the Lord's side? Not to perish with the wicked, we must be active in defending and promoting his kingdom. How great, or how long continued, will be the calamities of the nations, we cannot predict; but we can with assurance say, God will preserve his church, the Lord Jesus will save every one that believes in him. Let sincerity and zeal in serving him be our hope of safety. To be happy on earth and eternally blessed in heaven, let our wisdom be that which is from above, and our actions those of faith and charity. And let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not. "He that soweth to the flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."
The Trustees request the several religious congregations belonging to the society, that they have a public Contribution for the benefit of the society's funds, on the day of the annual thanksgiving, or, if it be thought more convenient, on a Lord's day near that time.
The Trustees also recommend it to the society to pass the following Resolves :
Resolved, that in future years, the annual meeting of the society shall be holden at 10 o'clock of the day ap. pointed by the constitution.
Resolved, that in future the auditing Committees be directed yearly to examine the accounts of the Com. mittee of Trustees.
By order of the Trustees.
APPENDIX NO. I.
An account of monies expended by the
Do. 12 weeks services, 1806,
Advanced to Missionaries.
Total for missionaries,
For the printing, purchase
12 New Testaments,
$79 82 96
9 44 100
32 75 51
2 Watts' Psalms & Hymns, S 5 18 Burder's Vil.Sermons, 3 vol. 36 19 Lathrop's Sermons, printed 1806,
The balance due to Mr. Dutton for 1805, was put into the hand of his agent, and inserted in the last report as paid. But his agent, not having opportunity to convey it to him, returned it with interest, and his account was finally settled the present year.