Sidebilder
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

BY THE EDITOR.

I never lost a dear friend when the remembrance of

Original. unkind expressions, and improper thoughts and feel

YOUTHFUL PIETY. ings, and neglected opportunities of doing good did not roll over my sinking heart; and I have wished, as I stood beside the weeping mother in the silent chambers

“By cool Siloam's shady rill of death, and drew aside the curtain, and gazed upon

How sweet the lily grows! the cold clay, that I could recall the dear departed for

How sweet the breath beneath the hill one moment, so that I might throw my arms around

Of Sharon's dewy rose ! his warm neck, and with tears entreat forgiveness. I

Lo! such the child whoge early feet now stand, in effect, at the graves of many that I love.

The paths of peace have trod;

Whose secret heart with influence sweet, You may live; but in all probability you will be to me

Is upward drawn to God.” as dead. Our intercourse is about to cease, and we shall see each other's faces no more. In looking back, The Bible suits its admonitions to every age. It I have reason to mourn. I see many moments that I addresses not only the mature and the decrepid, but have misimproved—many unworthy examples that I condescends to "little children," and proffers happiness have set before you; and although I have toiled with a to the young. feeble frame and a heavy heart, and wet my couch with “ Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy tears, when no eye but that of God could see me, yet I youth,” is its solemn adjuration to those who are pas. fear that I have not labored for you, that I have not felt sing from the scenes of childhood to the graver periods for you, that I have not prayed for you as I should have of active life. The days of youth may be reckoned done. Think of these regrets, and may God grant that those which intervene between the ages of fifteen and they may be sanctified to our mutual good! If I have twenty-five. The former may be considered the limit misconstrued any action which was well intended, or of childhood and the latter of youth. The preacher's formed a wrong opinion of any of you, or struck a sin- exhortation, therefore, applies in all its force during at gle spirit an unnecessary blow, I confess with shame least ten years of our probation. and sorrow, and pray that you will forgive me.

God is mindful of the peculiar temptations which Alas! there are some to whom these acknowledg-beset this period of life. He knows, too, that inexpements come too late. Franklin B. Sain is no more. rience of the vanity of the world adds greatly to the We saw him sicken and die. We have laid his body dangers of the youthful. He is aware of the strong in the narrow house. May we not hope that angels inclination of all unrenewed hearts to the delights of have conveyed his soul to its rest in the bosom of God? sense. He therefore addresses the young with kindAnd where is Ralph Johnson, the facetious, lively ness, and yet with authority. He points out to them Ralph ? He lies beneath the waves of the Sandusky the value of religion in its temporal uses, and then Bay. In a moment, joyous, heedless, alone, in the mid-warns them, by the coming judgment, not to forget night storm, and longing to return to your society, the God. rude wind capsized his little bark, and he sunk to rise What is it to remember our Creator? It is not an no more. Alas! in vain did the father, in his anguish, unimpressive notion of God. This is common to the call for his dear Ralph-in vain did Leonard search most careless. To think of God as we think of stars in along the shore for his only and well beloved brother, the day-time, both being out of sight, and pictured only in vain did the mother look out upon the unconscious by the imagination, is a vain service. The task to waters for her youngest and fondest son. Manning B. which the preacher invokes is far more serious. They Seymour, where is he? He was to have been present, who indulge such careless thoughts of Jehovah, insult to walk through these aisles, to assist in spreading these his mercy and majesty. The remembrance of God carpets, to seat these ladies, to participate in your here urged upon us must be a grave, purposed, and hilarity, and to listen to my voice. Alas! you dragged pains-taking labor. his body from those fatal waters with your own hands. To remember our Creator is not an occasional thinkIn slow and solemn procession you followed him through ing about him. It is no virtue to have our uneasy those streets. One by one you gazed and wept upon minds, full as they are of change and wanderings, his coffin, and saw him borne for ever from your sight. sometimes light upon God. No degree of stupidity, These instances admonish us to be also ready. or aggravated sinfulness, can prevent this. We must

We part. We may never meet again on earth.blot God's name from our language, and the idea which We must meet amid the fires of the last day. May it conveys from our minds, before we can wholly cease we meet at the right hand of the Judge, to whom com- to think of God. The vilest transgressors have occamending you, I now bid you a final and affectionate sional meditations about the eternal and self-existentfarewell.

the omnipresent and omniscient Creator.

To remember our Creator is not a fitful awe and

dread of him, which soon passing away, leaves no savor SLEEP, the type of death, is also, like that which it of devotion—no high resolve of piety. The righteous typifies, restricted to the earth. It dies from hell, and are in awe of Jehovah ; but theirs is habitual reveris excluded from heaven.

ence, and is displayed in their words and actions.

[blocks in formation]

The wicked may occasionally fear and quake when will, with mighty force, send our thoughts in a spontaGod comes in his wrathful providences, and over neous and joyful flow towards him. whelms them with the conviction that he will some Remembering God implies disregard of others-not time visit and consume his foes.

a positive, but a comparative disregard. We must To remember our Creator is not an occasional mis loosen the mind and the heart from the world. And giving of our worldly offections, or a momentary incli- we can easily determine whether we remember God. nation of our feelings towards God. Such states of || If we spend more hours daily in thinking of him than mind now and then unaccountably occur in the most we do of the world—of its business, its gains, and its depraved and obdurate. They are scarcely "states," | delights; and if we do it with a free and gratified heart, as that implies fixedness. They probably owe their then we do remember God. If our thoughts move in origin, for the most part, to the "drawings of the Fath-that current, and thus flow towards God, not by coner,” or to a divine influence shed forth upon men, straint, but as it were naturally, we may rejoice, for which softens their hearts, and strongly attracts them grace has gotten us the victory. towards God. This influence is alluded to by our Remembering God implies a disregard of ourselves. Savior when he says, “No man can come unto me, A sense of God's glory will make us abhor ourselves. except the Father draw him.” Some have mistaken How can one be said to remember God who is full of these "drawings” for religion. Indeed, it is probable himself. He that does not hate his friends and his that a large number of those who "hope” they are the own life also,(that is, comparatively,) cannot, says children of God, have experienced no more than these Jesus, be my disciple. “ drawings of the Father.” Had they followed on to Remembering God implies that he is our all. The know the Lord, instead of the fears and hopes which soul that does not take him for its portion must forget attend their anxious, unconverted state, their light him. God abhors every heart that does not thus receive would have become as the noon-day.

him, and tears himself away from it. We must not It is time now to consider what positives are implied only prefer him to all things, but it must be a strong in remembering our Creator. It implies serious and and decided preference—we must be sick of every thing diligent meditation on his character and government. beside. We must be so charmed by his ineffable gloMeditation sometimes denotes a song. Indeed, this is ries, as to lothę all else. All creatures in comparison its original import. But we now use it to express a with him must look repulsive, so that the heart will, as continuous train of thought on some grave theme. To it were, fall sick at the sight of them. Then shall we assist our meditations on the divine character and gov- feel the full force of those words, “Whom have I in ernment, we may read, converse, sing, pray, hear the heaven but thee; and there is none upon the earth that Gospel preached, or dispensing with these aids, may sit I desire beside thee!" in solitary quiet, and revolve in our minds the character These are the several things implied in remembering and attributes of God. We may, through grace, formour Creator. And now let us turn to another branch a habit of dwelling on religious themes, and then em- of the subject. ploy most of our time in inquiries connected with our Ought we not to remember God? Is it an unreasoneternal salvation. If unconverted, these meditations | able service ? Suppose God sustained no relation to will bring to our hearts a distressing conviction of us—that we were independent of him, in the origin and our wickedness and danger-if converted, they will in the issues of our being, ought we not even then to quicken us in our Christian journey, and increase our remember him? So it seems to me. God is the most joy in God.

excellent being in the universe. All the beauty and Remembering God implies a knowledge of him. glory of the creatures, are cyphers in comparison with What we never traced we cannot remember. Before the excellence of God. To forget trifles is well enough. memory can hold it the mind must acquire it. But But whoever remembers creatures and forgets God, forserious and diligent thoughts of God will, by divine gets all that is glorious, and is mindful only of the vile. teaching, make us acquainted with him, and then we We should abhor to see a man gathering weeds and are called to remember him.

casting away diamonds. How must angels abhor to Remembering God implies that we are deeply sensi- see us gathering the filthy creatures into our hearts, ble of his being and his presence. We must not only and shutting out the all-glorious Creator—the infinitely see, but feel that there is a God. We must realize his blessed original and fountain of all beauty and all experfections. We must have a strong assurance that cellence. To love the saints who bear some faint rehis providence is over us—that not a sparrow falls to semblance to him, and to admire angels, the messenthe ground without his notice. Without this deepgers of his love and the ministers of his beneficence, sense of God's being and presence, we shall forget him. are reckoned virtues. How much more worthy of our If the heart let God go, the head can keep no hold of warmest admiration is the Maker of both saints and him. But if the heart receive and retain him in its angels! Assuming, then, that God is neither our Maaffections, to think of him will be natural, and in some ker nor Preserver, we ought never to forget him. His sort, inevitable. Then our “meditation of him will be infinite perfections alone challenge our supreme regard. sweet.” He will become the blessed object of our But how is this obligation strengthened by our relathankful and devout contemplation. Our affections'tion to him. In the language of the preacher he is our

[blocks in formation]

senses.

“Creator." To forget him as God is brutish, but to in providence and in grace, to remind us of God. First, forget him as our Creator is devilish. Its flagrancy | here is the machinery of the visible universe, in all its cannot be estimated. Let us suppose ourselves stand- || grandeur, beauty and utility, which like the cunning ing by and witnessing a new creation. First, God workmanship of a master artist, should always serve to originates the chaotic elements. Then he divides the fix our minds on the adorable Maker. By the economy waters and produces the solid surface. Next he creates of our being we are every hour compelled to witness thousands of animated tribes, and dismisses them to the movements of nature, We dwell amidst the whirl expatiate all abroad. After a solemn pause, with a slow of its wheels, and receive each moment the products of deliberation, he proceeds to form a human body from its labor. We sow and reap the fields, whose waving the dust, framing it with a fearful and wondersul me-harvests spring from her elaborative, mysterious prochanism. Then he breathes into it the breath of life, cesses. Our bodies and souls reveal to us a God. and fills it with vigorous animation. Last of all, he Their fearful and wonderful construction, with which stamps its vital powers with a mental constitution, and we are of necessity so intimate, affords us constant and impresses on it the subtle energies of spiritual and convincing admonitions of the being and the goodness moral life. The new-made being glances around with | of our Creator. O how can we forget God! While an eye of intelligence, and fixes his admiring gaze upon we are mindful that we live and move, how can we his all-glorious Creator, who addresses him thus: forget that we live, move and have our being in Him? “Child of my love, I have just now formed you from The benevolence of Divine providence should rethe dust on which you tread. I have given you these mind us of God. If the gift of a parent draws towards

I have animated your frame. I have bestowed him the affectionate thoughts of his child, how ardently upon you power to think, to love, and to act, that you and unceasingly should our hearts incline to our eternal may think of your origin, love your Creator, serve him, Benefactor. All our comforts drop from his hand. commune with him, and be blessed.” This offspring| Those which our friends and parents minister flow from of the Deity listens at first, and understands; but while him as their ultimate source. Nay, he first bestows God continues speaking, he turns away, and begins to friends and parents, and inspires in their bosoms that amuse himself with the butterfly or flowret at his feet. regard for us which renders them watchful of our hapGod calls him in vain. He lays his hand upon him to piness, and munificent in their gifts of love. Shall we divert him from his untimely amusement in vain. In remember and admire the ministers of his mercy, and vain he invokes him in the language of alternate love forget the gracious Power who sends them into the and anger. Thenceforth, the immortal child of Jeho-|| world, and commissions them to supply our wants from vah forgets his heavenly Parent, and while joyful in his own bounteous stores? Every thing we eat, drink the beneficent ministrations of his providence, he has and wear-our every breath should carry our adoring an eye, an ear, and a heart for every thing but God. I thoughts to God. “Every good gift and every perfect This is a picture of indevotion. The sinner's image is gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father reflected in this mirror. Whoever forgets God is the of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow monster sketched in the above piece.

of turning.” But God has, if possible, a still higher claim to our “But God commendeth his love toward us in that, regard—a claim founded on his redeeming acts and suf-while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." No ferings. Here mortals stand alone. No other beings other token of divine regard is worthy to be mentioned are drawn towards God by any such attraction, or are in comparison with this. O to live in a world, and be bound to him by any such ties. Jehovah became in- one of a race of beings for whom God gave his Son, carnate for man alone. For others he acted; for man and for whom the Son gave his ease and his honors and he suffered. For others he lived; for man he died his life! It is enough to burst the graves, and bring Let angels forget him, but man never-no, never. up the dead, with halleluiahs on their lips. And can a

Let us close with a few reflections on the means of | mortal thus redeemed forget Almighty God, the author remembering God.

of this unfathomable bounty? Be astonished, ye Our acts of recollection depend on what philosophers heavens! call association. The more numerous and obvious the Let the youthful reader turn and remember God. points of ideal connection between existing and possi-Take God into your heart and you will remember him. ble themes of thought, the more easily do we pass from Memory clings to those we love. O let your young the former to the latter. A curious machine reminds affections embrace your Creator and Redeemer. Seek us of the inventor. A beneficent deed leads us to in- bis love-seek till his love is shed abroad in your heart. quire for its benevolent author. The gift of a friend or You must seck-you must obtain—you must be change a parent, brings before us the image of the kind and ed in your affections till you love God with all your beloved donor. Not to extend the notice of these ob-heart, or you must be a demon for ever.

If you have vious and numerous principles of association, let us been renewed, and have received the Savior, beware how turn and uire whether they are found in connection you wander in affection. Shut out the world from your with our relations to God, and the dealings of his prov- heart. Be sober—watch unto prayer; and remember, idence with us.

"He who in his statutes treads, Now consider how many things there are in nature,

Shall meet him in the skies."

THE INDIAN CONVERT.

361

We love you.

Original.

want of living bread. And one missionary ask me (his THE INDIAN CONVERT.

name was John Clark) that if I was willing to follow

him in his missionary labor. I told him I was willing The following letter was addressed to Bishop Morris, in his to go. Then I told my father and mother what I late tour

to the northern conferences. It is worthy of a place heard from the missionary. As soon as I had made an in the Repository. The reader will recollect it is from an Indian. The original letter is before us, and is written in a end of speaking, they say, “My son, you cannot go remarkably neat style of penmanship. Not one in ten of our away, because you are too young to leave us, and you business men can write as well. The orthography and punc-cannot take care of yourself well; and if you are sick tuation are more defective. We present it, except in these particulars, just as it appears in the manuscript.-Ed.

no body will take care of you." Then I told them,

“My dear parents, is God too unkind to take care of me My Dear BROTHER, I write a few lines to you wherever I go-to give me favor in my young days, or to tell you the salvation of God towards me since I is God too thoughtless to forget me: if I fall in sickcast away my blanket from my body, and my images, ness, will he not take good care of me? Surely he or gods, before mine eyes, whom I worshiped many will show me his great kindness even on my dying days, and served them with much prayer and fasting. bed.” And my mother told me again, “My son, how While I set in darkness, and in the shadow of death, I can your father and myself let you go? You are heard a voice, saying, Behold, I bring you good younger than the rest of my family. tidings of great joy!Then I beheld the man. Be. Why will you forsake us? We are getting old, thou hold, he points to heaven, saying, Repent, for the knowest. We shall die soon; then you will go kingdom of heaven is at hand." Then I repent of my wherever you please.” And I told my mother, “O, sins. It was a bitter medicine I ever tasted. Then I dear parent, I know you cannot let me go; but God cried out before the man of God the language of every knows that how he can let me go. O, the God of poor sinner, “O Lord, what must I do to be saved ?"|| heaven and earth will bless you. I command you to The good man told me, saying, "Believe in the Lord trust in God; then we shall see each other in heaven Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Then I be-| before the dazzling throne of God.” Then my mother lieved in the Lord Jesus, my Savior. As soon as I wept, and she beheld me weeping, tears on her believed, my sorrowful heart was turned into great cheek, and said, “My dear son, the Lord will bless joy. I went home rejoicing and praising God on the you. I let you go, for God calls you into the ministry. way. I took my images, the gods of my father, and I Be faithful.” did burn and destroy them; and I said, “I know now I have been traveling since that time from place to my Redeemer liveth.” My poor soul was happy in place, and along the shore of Lake Superior, calling God-my heart was filled with the love of God. Then my fellow men to come to Christ by faith, and be saved. I had a clear evidence that I was a child of God. Io how often I have a glorious time! My poor soul felt to tell all men what great things God has done for praised the Lord—my poor heart was filled with the me; but I was too young to leave my parents. How-| love of God. O what a glorious cause! although I ever, I put my trust in God, knowing that he is an often have been tired, not only in preaching but in eternal being. O, God, thou art from everlasting to foot traveling. When the snow is deep in the winter everlasting! I could not help of thinking that it was time, when I walked so many days that my feet bled, I my duty to go and tell my fellow men to come to was very tired, hungry, and cold. Sometimes I am Christ, that they may have a new heart, and saved thinking of brethren's house, if I could stay to-night, from their sins by the blood of the Lamb. The Spirit how comfortably I will be; but I must dig the snow, of God told my poor heart to ask God, through Jesus and make my nest in a cold place to lodge in during Christ, that the favor of God might fill my heart. || night. It was a cold night. Ah! “the foxes have While I prayed to the God of heaven and earth, he holes, and the fowls of the air have nests, but the Son blessed me. My vessel filled with the love of God of man had no place to lay his head.” O, ye missionit run over. 0, what a glorious feeling was this! || aries, be not discouraged, but “rather rejoice, because Then I arose from the bosom of my dear parents, and your names are written in heaven.” O what encourfelt willing “go into all the world, and preach the Gos- | agement is this: “Be thou faithful unto death, and I pel to every creature," and point sinners to "the Lamb will give thee a crown of life.” O, what a glorious of God that taketh away the sin of the world.company will that be; when all faithful missionaries

O, my brother, while I am writing, the missionary || cease from their labor, we shall wear the dazzling crown spirit burns in my poor heart. O, how can we be idle, upon our own heads! while the wide field is opened before us! My fellow And when I came down from the Lake Superior to laborer in the Gospel, how do you feel about the glo-|| my appointment this year, I took a small birch bark rious work of God? Ah, brother, I know you are canoe from Iron river to Kah-ke-wa-oo-naun mission, happy in God. Your heart is filled with the love of because I could not find any passage; but by the help God. I tell you, my brother, what I feel when the of God I determined to come down by myself; and missionary spirit burns in my poor heart. 0, some-| when I started coming down, I had little provision for times makes me to jump out of my chair. What is it my journey; and the chief at the place where I started for? Why, I see so many poor souls who starve for gave me old tomahawk and one paddle. That day I

362

THE INDIAN CONVERT.

started, it was very pleasant; and in the evening began || I could not make out. The hard wind was as a whip to be stormy weather; and when I could not go any snapping against my canoe, and I found no way to get farther, so stormy, thundering and lightning, me just || shore again. It was better for me to put up sail. So I kah-e-zhe-ah-gwha-bah-e-wa-yaun; that is, I did run to did; then I sailed very fast; and about nine o'clock the the land. And I stayed all night on the sand beach, wind began to blow very hard, the waves rolling as the and in the morning it was very heavy wind; so I stayed rocks rushing down from the steep place; and I thought about two days in that place. But, thank God, I was every wave will swallow me up; but I sung a good not comfortless I had the good Book, the words of missionary hymn; then my poor soul rejoiced in God eternal life. Our Savior says, “I will not leave you my Savior. I praised my God for his goodness towards comfortless; I will come unto you;” another word, " 7 me while the walls of water round about me; and as I am with you even unto the end of the world.It come was sailing, I saw at a great distance a good harbor. If to my mind, while I stayed in that place, to make me I could get there, then I might possibly get the shore; two ah-zha-bwe-yah-nun; that is, back sitting paddles; but I doubt whether I shall get there or not. By the but I had nothing to make them with, only a small providence of God I got the shore; and there was a penknife and old tomahawk, and I thought to try it. I high bluff close to that place when I landed; and I took my old tomahawk—it was very dull—and I hewed went upon the top of the bluff, and when I got there I one of the sinall logs. Took me a great while to finish turned my face toward the lake, and I said, “Ah! ye them. As soon as I was done hewing, I set down on mighty waves, I conquered you—I stand above you, the ground, and work it out all day with poor penknife. ye are under my feet—the place where I am now you Just about to finish my oars, I broke my penknife. will never be able to come up!" Then I lift up my eyes Then I said, “Thank the good Lord that I finished my to God, and said, “O, blessed God, by thy mighty oars!" And in the evening I determined to go on all strength I got in this place; while I come up here I night, because the wind fail; and I thought it would have passed through fearful waves, who try to swallow be calm all night. So I pushed out my little canoe, me up. 0, thou hast put my little canoe in the hollow and rowing until twelve o'clock. As I go along on the of thy hand!” And while I said this, I immediately top of the waves, I sung some good hymns with joy remember when I shall cease my labor here below, and toward my Savior. And about two o'clock the wind get up there on the mount of God in eternal day, to blew very hard. Just about half an hour the waves wear the dazzling crown the Lord Jesus prepared for made a terrible noise. I could not land, it so rocky us by his precious blood. Hallelujah! I began to and steep place along the shore. The waves made rejoice; and again I remember the words of our blessed fearful noise, beating against the shore, and I could not Savior, saying, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I see, it was so dark; but I must try to run to the shore. I will give thee a crown of life.And the next day it I thought surely will lose either of my life or my little was very pleasant; and about nine o'clock I crossed canoe. In a moment I started head toward the shore, one portage, and I did carry my canoe and things on and one of the largest waves coming, and opening his my back. After sunset I come to the place where I large mouth like a great whale, I thought, “Old fellow, spent the Sabbath. I was really tired out that evening. you will swallow me up." Good old fellow cast me And the next day, being Sabbath, I rest, and reading on his back, then he runs very fast toward the shore. the good Book of God. What we called Ke-zha-mun-eI thought my poor canoe will go to pieces. He cast doo Mun-ze-nuh-e-gun, signifies benevolent God's Book. me on the dry ground. Then I jump out and look Conversing with our heavenly Father all the day long, back. I could not see my old horse—where is he gone he did bless me. Monday morning I started again; and to? I lift up my heart to the almighty God with praise about four o'clock I got home at the Kah-ke-wa.00-naun and thanksgiving, preserving my life out of the mouth mission. of mighty waves to put my feet on the dry land. I I was half sick. And after I spent number of days remember the words of our Lord and Master, saying, at the mission, we started; brother John Kahbege and " The hairs of your head are all numbered, and none | myself and three other Indian brethren at the mission, of them falleth to the ground without notice of your coming down to Sault de St. Marie mission. We got a heavenly Father; and are you not of more value than very large canoe; and I thought I had quite good comthe fowls ? O, ye of little faith!And the next pany this time. And after we got at Sault de St. Marie morning was a little calm; then I started ahead. About mission, I stayed a few days in that place, waiting for the noon the wind changed. I had a sideway wind. I did | arrival of brother Wm. H. Brockway from conference, sail some; but it was very heavy rain; and after sunset the superintendent at Sault de St. Marie and Kah-keI saw a good harbor; then I stopped in that place towa-00-naun missions; and he told me that I was apstay all night. The next morning was very fair wind, pointed by the conference to Lakeville mission, where but most too hard wind for me to sail. I was halting I am now. for awhile whether I should go on or not; finally, my I was willing to leave my native country and come mind fixed to go on, because so fair wind for sailing. || down to the place where I was appointed, knowing And when I was farther out of the lake I found it was that God sending his unworthy servant where he may too heavy sea for me to be out of the lake. I thought be useful. God forbid that I ever feel to make my I missed the mark for this time. I tried to turn back-l choice of the place where I shall labor! My brethren,

« ForrigeFortsett »