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serves the grateful thanks of the of the sacred writers, whose his. church of Christ, but likewise torical details describe men as for his strenuous endeavours to they are, while their precepts correct the opinions of mankind point out what they ought to be. on many important points, by Our author's appreciation of the leading them to form their deci- merits and defects of Wickliff, sions according to truth, and not Luther, Erasmus, &c. will exaccording to the false criterion of emplify this remark. We mean worldly estimation. We deem not to assert, that Mr. Milner has those parts of his work by no in no instance erred in the view means the least valuable, where he has given either of facts or he has combated, and always, we characters ; or that he has been conceive, with success, the artful in no instance biassed in his and insidious misrepresentations judgment by his peculiar sentiof Hume and Gibbon, by which ments in theology ; but thus a general currency bad been given much we feel ourselves justified to sentiments tending greatly to in asserting, that, in general, we the depreciation of Christianity. may safely rely not only on the
We think that Mr. Milner representation he has given of particularly excels in accuracy of facts, but on the estimate he has discrimination, and soundness of formed of characters. The love judgment; and we are disposed of truth evidently constituted a to attribute his superiority in this striking feature in our author's respect to his invariable practice, mind. That sterling integrity a practice in which we fear that which dares not flatter, and will as an historian he will be found not deceive, is very conspicuous to stand nearly alone, of estimat in his work ; nor can any one, ing men's characters and actions who reads it with care, entertain by the unvarying standard of the a doubt that the object of its auword of God. His Ķnowledge of thor was, not to gratify his own the human heart was deep, his vanity by composing a book yiews of religion and of its influ- which should enhance his literaence just and extensive ; he pos- ry fame, or to obtain popularity sessed also an originality and in- by accommodating himself to the dependence of mind which pre- prevailing taste ; but, with simvented his servilely copying the plicity and plainness, to set beplans or adopting the sentiments fore his readers the genuine of preceding writers. His re- principles of the gospel of Christ, marks on the different characters and to exemplify their effects on which pass under his review, the spirit and conduct of such as manifest a more than usual share cordially embraced them. of acute observation, while they The strong and uniform atexhibit a pleasing spirit of Chris- tachment shewn by Mr. Milner tian candour and charity. In the to those truths which are pecu. impartiality with which he no- liarly entitled to the appellation tices the faults and defects of of evangelical ought not to be Christians, whose lives in the omitted in the enumeration of main were excellent, we recog. his merits as the historian of the pize an imitation of the fidelity church of Cbrist. With respect to some religious opinions, readers. His heart seems to there will always be much differ- glow with love to the Redeemer ence of sentiment among even of mankind, whose glory he la. the true followers of our Lord; bours to exalt. He appears albut all who have a fair claim to so deeply interested in the wel. that character will feel them- fare of his fellow creatures, and selves under great obligations to shews a constant solicitude to Mr. Milner for the boldness and promote their salvation. And ability with which he has assert- while the luminous piety of his ed and vindicated the evangelical own mind beams forth upon his doctrines of original sin, salva- readers, and kindles their devout tion by grace through faith in a affections, his writings are emicrucified Redeemer, and sanctific nently calculated to enlighten cation by the Holy Spirit. He and instruct them. We rise from loses indeed no opportunity of the perusal of this bistory with illustrating these grand truths, far other impressions of the value and particularly the doctrine of and excellence of Christianjustification by faith, of which he ity, than are produced by almost never speaks but with a manifest any other historical work: our impression of its importance. faith is strengthened, our hope Should any of his readers con- elevated, and our souls animated ceive, that he lays too much stress with a desire to be followers of on the single point of the neces- those who through faith and pa. sity of faith in the atonement and tience have inherited the promi. grace of Christ, let them reflect, Defects may undoubtedly that in the view of Mr. Milner, be pointed out, but they are and as we conceive in that of the chiefly the defects of a vigorous inspired writers, it is a point mind grasping at great objects, most intimately and inseparably and indifferent to those smaller . connected with every branch of points which might distract the Christian verity, lying indeed at attention. Much allowance the root of all true religion ; and must also be made, when, as in that with him as with them, it is the present case, a work of such always a practical truth, produc. magnitude and difficulty is ex: ing necessarily, when rightly and ecuted in the short intervals of cordially received, holiness of leisure redeemed from numer. heart and life.
ous and laborious employments, Perhaps there is no excellence and amid the interruptions occaso predominant in Mr. Milner's sioned by frequent attacks of work, as the genuine piety sickness. which appears in every page: On the whole, we do not hesi. The author does not speculate tate confidently and earnestly to respecting Christianity with the recommend this history as a valucold, philosophical spirit, so con- able addition to the library of evegenial to the taste of the present ry Christian ; as a work in which age ; but feeling all his own instruction is happily blendpresent happiness and future ed with interesting narrative, hopes to be centered in the gos- which the young may be allured pel, he commends it with honest to read for the entertainment it warmth to the affections of his affords, and which the advanced
Christian will prize for the edifi- ready entered into his rest, and cation he may derive from it. is enjoying the fruit of his laWe are greatly mistaken if it bours in a better world ; but will not prove highly useful in though dead, he yet speaketh, imparting just views of the na- and we have no doubt will long ture of true religion, and in lead- continue to speak to the improveing many to feel the supremely ment, comfort and everlasting important obligations of Chris- benefit of thousands. tianity. The pious author has al
An Account of the origin and progress of the mission to the Cherokee Indians; ir
a series of Letters from the Rev. Gideon Blackburn to the Rev. Dr. Morse.
Maryville, Feb. 8, 1808. party, who are to receive them, proREV. SIR,
vide a block of wood, carved in the SUFFER me to interrupt the course figure of a man's head, fasten it to a of my narrative by filling this sheet pole, and set it in the ground in the with a description of one of the spot designed for the place of meetdances of our Indians, called the Ea. ing. This done, all assemble in the gle-tail dance. I am persuaded that town-house, and wait the approach of it was once a religious ceremony.; their friends, who come carrying the that it originated in the East; and is tail in triumph, attended by the sound enigmatical. Though it has passed of the drum and other music. Havthrough the lapse of ages, it still ing arrived at a convenient place, and wears a strong appearance of the sufficiently near to be distinctly heard mysticism of the ancient mythology. by those in the town-house, they are But as religion was then used as a formed into order by their principal machine of state policy, this might chief, who distributes the bunches of have been used in that way.
feathers among the chiefs and warri. The occasion of the dance is the ors of his party. They then raise the killing of an eagle. Immediately on war whoop, which is three times re. this joyful event, the town to which peated, and as often answered by the person belongs, with some other those within. They march forward towns in the vicinity, send word to about 100 yards; halt, and whoop some town or towns at a distance, once; are distinctly answered ; so a that on a certain day, they will bring second and third time. At the third them the tail of an eagle. Before of these single shouts, those within the day appointed, the party, who are march out, directing their course to. to bring the tail, carefully select from wards the figure of the man as the the woods a stick having many limbs, central point. When arrived within which they cut off two or three inches ten steps of each other they halt. from the stem, and on the top they The head men of each party distinspread the tail and bind it fast with guish themselves in front. After a ligatures, and also carry with them moment's pause, the chief of the most of the feathers of the eagle, town company draws his sword, vabound in little bundles : while the pors astonishingly, and, at length, with menacing brow and horrid might have been supposed to attend threats, he draws towards this figure, it. At the conclusion be gives a (a feigned enemy) and gives it a fa- whoop, which is answered by the tal blow, lays it prostrate, then leaps, band of music; the rest in solemn brandishes his sword, and exerts ev- silence. He then begins to sing and ery nerve, as if in the severest con- dance with all the motions of a tri. test. He then exultingly passes to umphant warrior. This continues the chief of the opposite party, waves about the space of a minute ; the his sword over his head and the music in the mean time proceeding, heads of the other chiefs, dancing be- until he again waves his instrument fore them, and singing of his warlike over their heads, at which they stop, exploits. As soon as this scene is and he proceeds, as before, to tell over, one of the chiefs gives him a some other feat, and so on, till all his bunch of the feathers, with which he achievements are recited. At the returns in extatic triumph, and gives close of the whole, he passes by the it to one of his men. A second chief man seated on the deerskin, and goes through the same ceremony, is throws him something, either money treated the same way, and returns or clothing. He then sits down, and with his prize, and so on, till all the another rises, goes through the same bunches of feathers are transferred ceremony, and retires ; and so they to the town party. Then the head proceed, until all the chiefs and warriman of the advancing party bears the ors are fully satisfied. At the close, the tail in triumph, and presents it to collection, thus made, is divided ; a the chief who first drew his sword; large dividend is given to the person, he receives it with dignity, and bears who killed the eagle, and the remainit, with solemn and majestic step, to der distributed to the band of music. the place where the supposed slaugh- As soon as this is done the males all tered enemy lies. He sticks it in partake of a meal in the townhouse, is the ground, and each one brings his which the females are not permitted bunch of feathers, and hangs it on to join. Supper being ended they the cut branches of the pole. The mingle promiscuously, and spend the companies then unite, and one, expert remainder of the night in their usual in the mystery of the dance, leads
scenes of merriment. them through mysterious evolutions This cerejnony is so much degento the townhouse. After many ma- erated, that very few of the younger neuvres they enter and march round ones know how to lead it, and none, it, as if surveying a field of battle, un- even of the oldest, (as they them. til a signal is given, and the ceremo- stlves say) understand it so well as ny ceases till after dark, when a new their fathers ; nor indeed do they and interesting scene coinmences. A any of their dances or ceremonies. fire is kindled in the centre of the If we reflect on the usages of the townhouse, and a band of music, con- Egyptians and yet see their hiero. sisting of drums, cane whistles, glyphics, as well as some other of the gourds, and shells, filled with pebbles castern nations, we may conjecture or sbot, with a monotonous vocal the origin of our Indians, and may sound, are placed on one side at a dis- probably inser the mode of their pastance from the fire, and at one end of
sage to America. Many of their the band a man is seated on a deer.
ceremonies are evidently Jewish. If skin spread on the ground. The they are not descended from that namusic proceeds nearly half an hour tion, they must have descended from before any other exercises. At length those sufficiently near to have learna headman rises, holding some war. ed their customs and mode of worlike instrument, which he brandishes ship. over the heads of the musiciais, who I shall remark more fully on this instantly cease, though the drum is point in a future letter. I am, dear still lightly beaten.
He then pro
Sir, your's in the gospel of Jesus ceeds to tell some exploit or warlike Christ, action of hi life, accompanying the
GIDEON BLACKBURN. narrative with the gesiures, which
attend church regularly, but not by all. FOREIGN.
A translation in the common dialect of the country is much to be desired.
But this would not only meet with On the state of civilization of the Rus- translator, in relation to the language
many difficulties on the part of the sian people, in relation to religion itself, but still greater and more esand religious instruction. From leta ters written in March and April, ses of the people. The necessary
sential on the part of the lower clas1806, by a well informed German,
revision of the many orthographical who has long resided in Russia.
errors, in the MSS. used in the 17th The multitude among the Rus. century, which were so gross as comsiang is, in regard to mental culture, pletely to pervert the meaning, alin the lowest degree of degradation ; though their use had been appointed the labourer, the peasant, the me- by the patriarch Nicon, occasioned, chanic, the soldier, can neither read as is well known, a schism which isnor write. It would be too favoura sued in the sect of Separatists, called ble if we calculated that one in a Raskolniki, (Schismatics) or, as they thousand of these classes could read. call themselves, Staroviertzy, (old beCatharine II. indeed, founded schools lievers) which to the present moment for the people in the several metropola is troublesome to the church, and to itan cities, where reading and writing the state. To avoid such breaches in are talight graris : but very few par- future, a law has been passed, by ticipated in these advantages, and which no Bible or any part of a Bible, those only town-people. In Moscow, and especially no book used in the (Moskwa, in the Russian orthogra- church, is allowed to be printed, exphy) where the population is 400,000, cept under the immediate inspection these schools had only 1000 scholars. of the highest spiritual tribunal, the The scholastic establishments which
holy directing synod, and at their have been instituted in this reign are press ; with ecclesiastical letters, in not properly calculated for the lower imitation of manuscript. classes ; and probably 'not only this No Greek Bibles are found in Rusgeneration, but several succeeding sia, because among a hundred clergygenerations will pass away ere the men not one understands Greek. The Russian peasant will be in such a sit- few Greek testaments which are used dation, that ability to read will be in some schools are procured from come necessary for his children. Leipzig. In the 16th century a Rus
The Greek church, however, has sian Bible was printed in Poland, provided that her members shall not which however has never been acremain wholly unacquainted with the knowledged as canonical in that counBible. In the daily church service, try. Copies of this work are now which lasts many hours, besides the great rarities. In the middle of the liturgies, which are read, lectures are 18th century, a superb edition of the delivered on various parts of the Old Bible appeared in folio ; of which a and New Testament, especially on the copy cost 51. Towards the close of psalms, the gospels, and epistles, so that century, two editions of it appear. that these three divisions of holy ed at Kiew (one in 3 octavo volumes, writ are read through more than price 21. another in 3 folio volumes.) once in a year, and therefore the con- These editions might amount to 5 or stant attendants at church are suffi. 6,000 copies. Now, as it is supposed ciently, and often astonishingly well that Russia contains 40 millions of inacquainted with them. Nevertheless, habitants, it may bence appear how the nuinber of these constant attend- scarce Bibles must be among them. ants at church is but small. The Tracts of 100 wersts and more are church translation which has been in- known where a copy is considered as a troduced. is in the Sclavonian tongue, rarity. In a peasant's family none is but not in the proper dialect of the found ; and very seldom in that of a country. On account of its so fre. nobleman or merchant. Even among quent use in the church service, this the clergy there is a great want of language is understood by most who this sacred book; and no desire is Vol. III, No 12.
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