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THE following very interesting letter from the Rev. Gideon Blackburn, missionary among the Cherokee Indians, in the state of Tennessee, to the chairman of the standing committee of missions, has been lately received. Can wealthy christians read it, and not offer him some assistance! The second Indian school which he has opened, he will have to provide for principally himself. The funds of the General Assembly, already burdened to the utmost, can afford him but little, perhaps no relief.
Maryville, Jan. 27, 1806.
REV. SIR, I sensibly feel the need of friendly counsel. Could I but sit beside you a few minutes, it would probably relieve my mind; however, I am relieved by the consideration that Jesus reigns.
Early in this winter, an Indian, named Quotoquiske, three of whose sons and step-sons I have at school, went to Charlestown to lay in some goods, as he is engaging in the line of merchandizing, and took with him one of the boys, who was so advanced as not only to be an interpreter, but also to do business for his father. During their stay in the city, the boy became infected with the small-pox, though it never was discovered until he had reached the borders of the nation on his return home. The Indians incautiously flocked round him, as he passed through the towns, to see what was the matter, and before he arrived at home on the 18th instant, it is probable he had spread the infection pretty generally. I was immediately notified, and went without delay to the school, knowing that none of the master's family, except himself, had ever had the small-pox; and also, that the children had scarcely all returned after a short vacation I had given them at the beginning of the year. The most of them came through the neighbourhood of the infected family, which was only eight miles from the school. I found thirteen only had arrived, and several of the rest, as I expected, were in the neighbourhood of the disease. I, therefore, thought proper to forbid their coming on, till it should be determined whether they were infected. The case was truly critical! the poor little dear children earnestly begging of me to do something to save them, and I had nothing in my power; as I had made immediate inquiry of the faculty VOL. II.
for the vaccine matter, but was told there was none in the state; and should I innoculate with the variolus matter, and any of the children die, the other Indians would undoubtedly be offended, and the institution would be ruined. To remove them to the settlements would have been both hazardous and expensive; as some bad fellows, who are disaffected, would have immediately reported that I was kidnapping the children; and, likewise, as I had laid in provisions for the season, it would have been costly to remove fifty miles through the wilderness. To force the poor little crying things to face the danger, by disbanding the school, appeared cruel; I, therefore, determined to keep those who were at the school together, using such simple preventatives or preparatives as were in my power, hoping they might escape, until you might have it in your power to send me the vaccine matter, which, if it could seasonably arrive, might not only save the school, but a large share of the nation. Oh! how humanity, especially if aided by sincere piety, drops the tender tear at the reflection of so distressing a disorder raging amongst, and hurrying into eternity, poor savage souls, unacquainted with their destiny or their God! Can the civilized world be clear of guilt, in so long neglecting the rescue of poor heathens from their savage state? The Lord has made us treasurers of his bounty, and loudly called on us to give of his own to save his savage offspring; and oh, how many christians refuse to comply, or do it so sparingly as to be inadequate to answer the end!
In August last, in answer to the pressing request of that part of the nation, I established another school, in the lower part of the nation, which consists of from twenty-five to thirty-two scholars. They are learning to admiration. I shall have it shortly in my power to send you specimens of their industry and progress, which will surprise you. This chool I have opened, trusting in God that he will bring about some means to defray its expense. Had I sufficient to carry on education, by christian teachers, to the extent the Indians would now desire, a few years would raise in the forests civilized families and magnificent churches; but my poverty, and the wants of a little family, tie my hands. This, together with the cont.nuation of the affliction in my leg, which often obliges me to climb the craggy cliff
[Continued from page 90.] AFRICA.
THE Directors in the next place advert to the state of our missions in South Africa, of which, however, through the interruption of direct and regular communication with the Cape, they are not enabled to speak so particularly as they wish. From our excellent brother Dr. Vanderkemp, no intelligence has been received later than Feb. 29th, 1804; that intelligence, however, was highly satisfactory; as it not only assured us of the continuance of his valuable life, and the restoration, in some degree, of his health; but affords fresh occasion to thank the Lord of the harvest for the powerful in fluences of the Holy Spirit crowning his labours, and those of Mr. Read, his faithful colleague, with considerable
The particulars of this success we have obtained from the Annual Report of this mission, for the year 1803, drawn up by brother Read, and to which the Doctor refers in his letter. This Report after long delay, has come to hand, and contains important information. The gospel, which proved, in many happy instances, the power of God to the salvation of the poor Hottentots, became a stumbling-block and a rock of offence to many of the Boors, who notwithstanding the name of christians, which they undeser
vedly bear, laboured to keep the Hottentots in total ignorance of the gospel, and were enraged at the missionaries, the diffusion of whose light discovered and condemned their horrid acts of oppression and murder. Irritated to the highest pitch, they laboured to seduce the people into drunkenness, whoredom, and other vices, and to prejudice their minds by the most injurious falsehoods; they would have rejoiced to destroy the lives both of the missionaries and their disciples, and when they could not effect this, they committed depredations on their property.
Amidst these difficulties and dangers, our brethren were sometimes on the point of determining to leave their situation. But the Lord by his good providence interposed in their favour, and on the arrival of the Dutch governor Jansens they obtained protection while they continued there; and, as was mentioned in a former report, the seat of the mission was removed by the advice of the Governor, to a spot now called Bethelsdorp, where, we presume, the labours of our brethren are yet continued. A set lement was formed at this place, in which a church and habitations were speedily constructed, the walls and roof of which are composed of reeds; extensive gardens were also planted, and every prudent measure adopted to procure a sup. ply of corn, and various kinds of vegetables for the use of the little colony. A plan of this settlement has lately been forwarded from Holland, and will appear, probably, in the next number of our transactions. Their school consists of about 30 or 40 children, of whom 20 could read and spell.
Our brethren, during their dangers and trials, consoled themselves in the expectation of being soon joined by brother Irvin, who had long waited at the Cape for a conveyance to Algoa Bay: but it has pleased the sovereign Disposer of human events to disappoint their hopes and ours; for the vessel in which he sailed was wrecked on the coast, and the Society was deprived of a truly devoted servant of Christ, whose labours at the Cape and its vicinity, especially among the soldiers, had been eminently useful. By the loss of this vessel our bre thren were also disappointed in their expectation of receiving a printing press, cash, and other supplies, sent out by this society for their use; but, says the Doctor,
we lay our hands upon our mouth, and say, 'The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away;" he also adds, with truly
The Directors have lodged a sufficient credit in their favour at Cape Town, both for the purposes of their own support, and of promoting and enlarging their missionary operations.
In the Report of our brethren, before mentioned, we have the utmost satisfaction in learning that the Lord continued to bless their labours at Bethelsdorp, and that the kingdom of grace was spreading more and more among the poor Hottentots. The progress also of the scholars in learning to read, and in acquiring religious knowledge was astonishing to our brethren, knowing, as they did full well, the peculiar languor, stupidity, and aversion to every exertion,mental or corporeal, which characterizes the natives; which indeed proves, as our missionaries observe, "that nothing is impossible to God."
It will not be necessary in this Report to detail particularly those remarkable instances of conversion which were communicated in the paper last received from Africa, as they have already appeared in our Transactions, in the Evangelical Magazine, and in a circular letter lately sent to the friends of the Society in general. The Directors could not retain till the annual meeting, a narration so interesting, displaying in so eminent a degree the energy of divine grace on the hearts of men usually reckoned among the most abject of our race. The conversion of Cupido, a man uncommonly notorious for vice, and distinguished above all his pagan fellows for the enormity of his crimes, found in the gospel of salvation, and in the blood of Christ, a remedy sufficient to heal all his diseases; and no sconer did he hear that the Son of God was able to save sinners from their sins, than he cried out, like a person in similar circumstances in the eastern world: "This is what I want! This is what I want!" This convert, like Saul of Tarsus, no sooner received the faith of the gospel, but he straightway preached it to his countrymen, declaring, as a living witness, and from his own happy experience, that Jesus Christ has power to forgive and to subdue sin. Glory to God! in one year, he could number se
venteen adult persons of his countrymen, called by his instrumentality out of darkness into light, one of whom is become the wife of the Missionary brother, Read.
Another Hottentot, Boezak, whose first appearance inspired the brethren with horror, and whose beastly drunkenness was disgusting in the extreme, soon obtained from the gospel that knowledge of himself which light from above alone can impart, and complained that "he had got two hearts;" in his simple language expressing the inward condict which every Christian feels, and which the inspired penmen so affectingly describe. The conflict however issued well; and the heart, once the den of every beastly lust, became a habitation of God through the Spirit, which being filled with the love of Christ, overflowed with affection to his countrymen, among whom his talents had rendered him eminent, and to whom he now holds forth the word of life, an ornament to the doctrine he has espoused.
Samson was another distinguished trophy of Divine Grace. He had long wished to understand the nature of that salvation, a distant report of which had reached his ears; at length the opportunity was afforded, and he felt the gospel to be the power of God. He is become bold in the cause of Christ among all sorts of persons; he warns his fellowsinners to flee from the wrath to come, and fails not to reprove the colonists for their criminal conduct in withholding from his nation the means of salvation.
Jocham, another convert, seized the first opportunity of assembling the heathen around him, and declaring to them the gospel of Christ, by which zeal he offended the nominal christians, who imprisoned him and some of his brethren in the cage, one of whom was shamefully scourged; but a magistrate interposed, and declared that the cause they espoused could not and should not be suppressed. This Hottentot brother, seeing letters prepared for England, desired that Mr. Read would express the affection he felt for us, and "beg them," said he, "to pray for me, assuring them that, as well as I can, I will pray for them."
How encouraging! how animating, are these relations! Let God be glorified among us this day. We are already well repaid for all our exertions.
We regret that we are not able to report the state of the other Missions in Africa; the suspension of correspondence leaves us wholly unacquainted with the circumstances of our brethren Bekkar, Verster, Tromp, Vanderlingen, An
is superintendant of the whole. Letters received from these new labourers, before and at the time of their departure, were highly satisfactory; and the directors entertain a pleasing confidence that they will prove valuable helpers to the good work in that quarter, where the Lord has already displayed so much of his gracious power.
derson, and Cramer; as also of the operations of the South African Missionary Society, who we trust are all at their respective posts, labouring unceasingly in the work of the Lord. A little time we trust will bring us welcome advices from all these quarters.
During the last year, a measure of considerable importance has been adopted with respect to the future management of the Missions in Africa. The strong prejudices entertained by some narrow minded persons in that country against the Missionary Institution, not only formed but directed and managed by Englishmen, with whom the Dutch were engaged in hostilities, were such as to induce Dr. Vanderkemp to recommend that the management should be entrusted to the hands of the Netherland missionary society. The clamour of these people,though ostensibly of a political nature, was really nothing more than the result of a deep-rooted enmity against God, and the extension of his kingdom among the heathen. It was judged, however, prudent to submit to the method proposed; and the directors, after mature consideration of the plan and regulations proposed by the Dutch society (which was published in No. 12 of the Transactions) have with entire satisfaction adopted the whole system.
Our friends are already, in general, apprised that our excellent brother Kicherer, with the christian Hottentots who paid a visit to England with him, have, after long and unavoidable delays, proceeded to Africa. They sailed in an American vessel, captain King, from Amsterdam, in October last. They were accompanied by several new labourers, viz. Mr. and Mrs. Vos, of Holland, who are to be employed in the school at Zak river; also two brothers, Mr. Christian Albricht and Mr. Austin Albricht; these are to perform the offices of school masters and teachers; and, if necessary, are to be sent to other parts of the country, to extend the gospel. Another missionary, Mr. Ulbricht, is also sent out with them, who is intended to join Dr. Vanderkemp and Mr. Read at Bethelsdorp. Besides these, Mr. Syden Faden is sent forth, at the expense of the Rotterdam society, and who is to manage the social affairs at Zak river, while Mr. Kicherer
A circumstance that occurred when these brethren were just leaving our coast, ought not to be forgotten. On the night of October 26, 1804, they were overtaken by a dreadful storm, when between the isle of Scilly and the Lizard; the danger was so great, the wind blowing in shore, that the captain admonished all the crew to prepare for immediate death; but it pleased God to hear their fervent prayers, and to preserve their lives for further usefulness; the wind changed about five in the morning, the storm abated, and they were relieved from their distresses. The letter, which gave us this information, was dated Madeira, Nov. 13, 1804, when they were all well; and long before this, we trust they have arrived at the Cape, and it may be hoped have reached the scene of their labours, to gladden the hearts of the lit tle flock in the wilderness, and to recount all the goodness and mercy of God towards them in Europe. FRANCE.
The continuation of war with France has unavoidably suspended that intercourse which was necessary to complet ing the printing of the Bible, and to the effectual dispersion of the New Testament, which was long since finished. The directors have been disappointed in the expectation announced in the last report, that a society on the continent, not prohibited by circumstances of hostility, would undertake this service. They trust, however, that matters are now in a train to effect the accomplishment of the work by means of christian friends in Switzerland, who having opportunity of maintaining correspondence with protestant clergymen who are settled over numerous congregations in various parts of France, will thereby be enabled to extend the circulation of the scriptures, as well as to promote the general interests of pure and vital religion. [To be continued.]
Col. SAMUEL MILES. THIS worthy man was born at White Marsh, in Montgomery county, Pennsylvania in the year 1738-9. His grandfather and grandmother were natives of Wales, and accompanied William Penn to the wilderness which afterwards received his name, in the year 1682,
cuted the commission of deputy quarter master of the American army, for the state of Pennsylvania, and after the peace, he filled in succession the stations of member of the legislature, and of the council of censors, a judge of the court of errors and appeals, member of the executive council, alderman, and mayor of the city.
In the year 1792, he again retired to a farm in Montgomery county, where he employed himself with great delight in agricultural pursuits, and lived beloved and respected.
In the year 1805, he yielded to the wishes of his fellow-citizens, and became a member of the legislature of the state. His journey to the seat of government, and his attention to public business, revived a disease with which he had been before afflicted, and compelled him to return to his family, in the bosom of which, he peaceably resigned his soul into the arms of his Saviour, on the 29th of December, 1805, in the 67th year of his age.
In the year 1755, and immediately after the defeat of Gen. Braddock, the subject of this memoir, in the 16th year age, joined a company of militia commanded by captain Wayne, the father of the late Gen. Wayne, and marched with him to Northampton county which was then exposed to the incur sions of the Indians. His activity and zeal in this service attracted the notice of the Governor of the province, who, unsolicited, sent him an ensign's com mission in the provincial troops in the year 1757. In 1758 he was promot ed to a lieutenancy, and in 1760 he received the command of a company. During these three years he was engaged in active service. In a skirmish near Fort Ligonier, with a party of French and Indians, he was slightly wounded, in the year 1759.
At the close of the war he married Miss Catharine Wistar, daughter of Mr. John Wistar, a wealthy and respectable merchant, and entered into trade in Philadelphia, by which he accumulated such an independency as induced him to retire to the country in the year 1774. During his residence in Philadelphia, he was chosen by his fellow citizens to fill several public stations, among others that of a member of the legislature.
Upon the breaking out of the war between Great Britain and America in 1775, he again felt the influence of a martial and public spirit. His neighbourhood soon partook of it, and was formed by him into a regiment of militia. In the year 1776 he accepted of the command of a regiment of riflemen, consisting of 1000 men, which was attached to the regular army under the command of Gen. Washington. It was his misfortune to be made a prisoner in the battle of the 27th of August, on Long-Island, where he remained in a painful state of inactivity for nearly two years. During his finement, his country showed her respect for him by creating him a Brigadier General. After his return from captivity, he settled in Philadelphia, where his time and talents were constantly devoted to public objects. During the war, he exe
A Scotch nobleman was once complimented upon the number of offices he had filled under the Britsh government, each of which was mentioned to him. "You have forgotten (said his Lordship to his friend) to mention one of my honours, which I prize more than all the rest, and that is, I have for many years filled the office of an elder in my parish church." The same pre-eminence in ecclesiastical over civil honours, was possessed by Col. Miles for many years in the Baptist church of Philadelphia.
A few words upon the character of this worthy man, shall close this short account of his life.
He was blessed with a temper so uniformly meek and gentle, that a person who had lived in a state of the most intimate friendship with him for nearly twenty years declared "he had never once seen him angry." The benignity and equanimity of his temper appeared in his countenance. It was at all times, serene and placid.
He was alike happy in discharging with fidelity, duties apparently of a very opposite nature. He loved and cherished his country, as if he expected to live in it for ever, and yet he served his God, as if he constantly felt that he was a stranger in this world, and that his citizenship and home were in heaven.
But to appreciate the worth of this man fully, it will be necessary to view him in private life. Here we behold him upright