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savage tribes, the haunts and lurking-places of the cruel invaders of our defenseless frontiers, regardless of age and sex, sporting with the agonies of captives while expiring under their infernal tortures—a people ignorant of the true God and devoted to their heathen rites and barbarous superstitions ; to see this country so rapidly changing into cultured fields, inhabited by civil and well-regulated societies, peaceably enjoying the fruits of their enterprise, industry, culture, and commerce; to hear the voice of plenty, urbanity, and social enjoyment; above all, to see it illumined by the pure and benevolent religion of the gospel, enjoyed in all its regular ministrations and divine ordinances. To behold scenes and events like these, My Brother, are not merely pleasing contemplations, they are animating motives to zeal and activity in your ministerial labors. It would have afforded great additional happiness to have seen the savage tribes converted to the Christian faith, but it gives much satisfaction, and may prepare the way for the introduction of the gospel among them, that a peace, wise and just in its principles, and which promises a permanent duration, has been concluded with them. Government having fairly and honorably purchased of them their right to the soil, they are quietly retreating to distant parts of the wilderness. I can not forbear reminding you, my dear sir, that on the very ground where you are statedly to dispense the gospel you behold those ancient ruins, those extended walls and elevated mounds, which were erected many years ago. These works must have required for years the labors of thousands, and are certain indications that vast numbers of the natives once inhabited this place. When these antiquities are minutely examined, they induce a belief that part of them, at least, are the monuments of ancient superstition. Their temples and their idols were probably placed on the elevated square mounds, where the ceremonies of their gloomy, heathenish devotions were performed. On these mounds, in all probability, numerous human sacrifices have been offered. May we adore that Providence which is now planting on this memorable spot the evangelical religion of Jesus. Here may it be permanently established, and may its benign influence be extended throughout every part of the American world. Here may you, sir, be long continued a faithful and successful minister. In contemplating the magnitude and importance of the work to which you are this day solemnly consecrated, well may you ask: Who is sufficient for these things ? Trust not in your own strength, but in Him whose grace is sufficient for you. Feel the influence, not merely of those local considerations which your particular situation so naturally suggests, but of those great truths and momentous concerns which the gospel will continually present to your view. You are now about to take your leave, probably a final leave of your nearest connections. May the painful hour of parting with them be cheered by the reflection that you are going on a great and useful, an honorable and glorious errand, a work which holy angels would with pleasure perform. Those benevolent spirits who sang praises to God in the highest, because there was on earth, peace and good will toward men, would cheerfully be employed in turning men from the error of their ways, and saving souls from death.
Go, then, my Friend, and the God of peace be with you.
NOTE TO DR. CUTLER'S CHARGE AT THE ORDINATION OF REV. DAN
IEL STORY, AUGUST 15, 1798. Vestiges of ancient works, of which the present natives retain no tradition, are found in various parts of the western territory. Of those that have yet been discovered, the works at Marietta are of the greatest magnitude. Their situation is on an elevated plain. They consist of walls and mounds of earth, in direct lines, and in square and in circular forms. The largest square contains 40 acres. On each side are three openings, at equal distances, resembling twelve gateways. The smallest square contains 20 acres, with a gateway in the center of each side. At the angles of the squares are openings similar to those at the sides. The walls, which were made of earth, were not thrown up from ditches, but raised by bringing the earth from some distant place, or taking it up uniformly from the surface of the plain. They were probably made of equal height and breadth, but the waste of time had rendered them lower and broader in some parts than in others. By an accurate measurement they were found to be from 4 to 8 feet in height, and from 25 to 26 feet, at the base, in breadth. Two parallel walls, running from an angle of the largest square toward the Muskingum River, which seemed to have been designed for a covered way, were 175 feet distant from each other, and measured on the inner side, in the most elevated part, 24 feet in height, and 42 feet broad at the base. Within and contiguous to the squares, are many elevated mounds, of a conic form and of different magnitudes. The most remarkable of the mounds within the walls are three, of an oblong square form, in the great square. The largest of these is 188 feet in length, 100 feet in width, and 9 feet in height, level on the summit, and nearly perpendicular at the sides. At the center of each of the sides the earth is projected, forming gradual ascents to the summit, extremely regular, and about 6 feet in width Near the smallest square is a mound raised in the form of a sugar-loaf, of a magnitude that strikes the beholder with astonishment. Its base is a regular circle, 115 feet in diameter, and is 30 feet in altitude. It is surrounded by a ditch, at the distance of 33 feet from its base, 15 feet wide, and 4 feet deep, forming a bank 4 feet in height, leaving an opening or gateway, toward the square, about 20 feet wide. Besides these, there are other works, but the limits of this note will not admit of a description.
At the commencement of the settlement (at Marietta) the whole of these works were covered by a prodigious growth of trees. When I arrived, the ground was in part cleared, but many large trees remained on the walls and mounds. The only possible data for forming any probable conjecture respecting the antiquity of the works, I conceived, must be derived from the growth upon them. By the concentric circles, each of which contains the annual growth, the ages of the trees might be ascertained. For this purpose a number of the trees were felled, and in the presence of Governor St. Clair and many other gentlemen, the number of circles were carefully counted. The trees of the greatest size were hollow. In the largest of those which were sound, there were from three to four hundred circles. One tree, somewhat decayed at the center, was found to contain at least four hundred and sixty-three circles. Its age was undoubtedly more than 463 years. Other trees, in a growing state, were from their appearance much older. There were, likewise, the strongest marks of a previous growth as large as the present. Decaying stumps could be traced at the surface of the ground, on different parts of the works, whieh measured from 6 to 8 feet in diameter. In one of the angles of a square, a decayed stump measured 8 feet in diameter at the surface of the ground; and though the body of the tree was so moldered as scarcely to be perceived above the surface of the earth, we were able to trace the decayed wood, under the leaves and rubbish, nearly an hundred feet. A thrifty beach, containing 136 circles, appeared to have first vegetated within the space occupied by an ancient predecessor of a different kind of wood.
Admitting the age of the present growth to be 450 years, and that it had been preceded by one of equal size and age, which as probably as otherwise was not the first, the works have been deserted more than 900 years. If they were occupied one hundred years, they were erected more than a thousand years ago.
It is highly probable the exterior walls were erected for defense. An opening being made at the summit of the great conic mound, there were found the bones of an adult in an horizontal position covered with a flat stone. Beneath this skeleton were thin stones placed vertically at small and different distances, but no bones were discovered. That this venerable mouument might not be defaced, the opening was closed without further search. The cells formed by the thin stones might have contained, like the charnel houses in Mexico, the skulls of the sacrifices; or the mound may be a general depository for the dead, collected in the manner described by Lafitau and other travelers among the Indian tribes.
The large mounds in the great square, it can hardly be doubted, were appropriated to religious purposes. On them they erected their temples, placed their idols, and offered their sacrifices; for it is difficult to conceive of any other purpose for which they could have been designed. Comparing their form and situation with the places of worship in Mexico and other parts of the country, when first discovered, we find as great a similarity as there was in the places of worship among those different tribes. Their temples were generally erected and their idols placed on natural or artificial elevations, with gradual ascents. If the Mexican tribes, agreeably to their historic paintings and traditions, came from the northward, and some of them in their migrations went far to the eastward, it is not improbable that either some of those tribes, or others similar to them in their customs and manners, and who practiced the same religious rites, were the constructors of those works. The present natives bear a general resemblance, in their complexion, form, and size to the ancient Mexicans. Though their rites and ceremonies differ, they profess the general principles of the Mexican religion ; believing in the Great Spirit, good and evil genii, and a state of existence after death. They have no temples, nor images, but some faint notions of religious oblations are to be found among them. When it is considered how long it must have been since these works were erected, how generally the practice of offering human sacrifices anciently prevailed among all the tribes from Louisiana to the western ocean ; that men, women, and children were sacrificed in their smaller as well as most populous towns; that in the dominions of Montezuma, only, as historians say, twenty thousand were yearly sacrificed, and in some years fifty thousand, will it not strengthen the probability that human sacrifices were among the religious rites of the ancient possessors of this ground?
ORDINATION OF REV. DANIEL STORY.* At Hamilton, August 15, 1798, the Rev. Daniel Story was ordained pastor of the church in Marietta, in the North-western Territory of the United States.
The introductory prayer was made by the Rev. Dr. Barnard, of Salem. A sermon was preached by the Rev. Mr. Story, of Marblehead, on 2 Cor. 4: 5: “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.” The ordaining prayer was made by the Rev. Mr. Forbes, of Gloucester. · The Rev. Dr. Cutler, of Hamilton,
* See Salon Gazette, August 21, 1798.