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be faithfully performed.) “ Brother, it is our custom in this way to introduce strangers, you are now at liberty to proceed.”
After the chief warrior, Wondongluthta, had closed what he had to offer, and which he appeared to do in a solid, feeling manner, and great quietness being observed by the other Indians, he retired to his seat again : a pause then took place, and believing I had something giving me in commission for them, I stood up
feet. The Indian who had been engaged as my interpreter arose, as did also my kind friend Jacob Taylor, a resident from his birth near the settlement, giving the interpreter such assistance as he appeared to stand in need of. Great quietness was observed during the time I was in testimony amongst them; and when I had closed, after a pause, the chief warrior again stepped forward, resuming his place at the chair as before, and expressed himself in a very broken, feeling manner, as follows:
“ Brother, we have listened with attention to what you have said, -your words have sunk deep in our minds ;--we hope we shall remember your good advice :-we are not in the practice of making long speeches after such opportunities, but we wish you to know that we thank you for the concern you have manifested for our welfare. We feel sensible of the truths you have told us, and we will try to treasure them up in our minds ;-we feel thankful to the Good Spirit for his continued care over you, and for the present opportunity afforded us."
After giving our hands, both to the Indian men and women, we parted; and I returned to our friend David Pound's for the night. The Seneca tribe of Indians at Cataragus having divided, one part of the tribe was distinguished by the title of the Missionary party, the other the Pagan party ; this was occasioned by a missionary coming into the settlement against the minds of many of the tribe, and endeavouring to impose religious sentiments upon them, which some could not receive ; such as these,--that the Scriptures were the only means whereby they could obtain salvation ; and that they were to be the only rule for their conduct ; that he the missionary alone was to be looked up to by them for a correct explanation of the Scriptures -they not being competent themselves to understand them, and therefore they must not put their own constructions upon
them endeavouring by these means to keep them, as has been the case with the clergy of the Roman Catholic denomination, in bondage to himself, and, as those who are denominated the Pagan party say, to enable him to live an idle life. On inquiry which of these parties were the most orderly in their conduct, I was informed from undoubted authority, by a Friend residing very near the settlement, that those who were denominated the Pagan part of the tribe were more sober, industrious, honest, and upright in their transactions, and were better husbands, than was the case with those denominated the missionary party. At the close of what I communicated, I recommended them when collected in each other's houses in the evenings, that such as were able should read the Scriptures to those who were not able to read them, in preference to spending their time in such reading, conversation, and practices as were unprofitable. I was informed the Scriptures were called “the holy book"; a term given to them by the missionary part of the tribe. My friend, Jacob Taylor, told me, he had been spoken to by some of the Indians after the meeting, who informed him, my calling the Scriptures “the holy book" had made an unpleasant impression on their minds respecting me, as they supposed by my calling the Scriptures the holy book, I favoured the opinions of the missionary, whose conduct and religious sentiments they felt themselves so much opposed to. This circumstance occasioned me some uncomfortable feeling, as being likely to defeat the end proposed in my having a meeting with them: I therefore concluded it best to commit to writing something to clear me in their view, from holding such opinions as the missionary professed to hold, and I gave forth a paper nearly as follows:
“To those OF MY RED BRETHREN OF THE SENECA TRIBE, WHIO
GAVE ME THEIR COMPANY IN THE COUNCIL-HOUSE, ON THE 5TH or 3RD MONTH, 1827. “My dear Brethren,
9th of 3rd mo. 1827. “My reason for using the term "holy book’ was, that I supposed the interpreter might the better understand how to explain my views to you; but finding, since I left you, that some were not well satisfied with that part of my mode of expression, I now declare, that so far from my believing the Scriptures to be the only means of salvation, and sole rule for our conduct, I am decidedly opposed to such dangerous and false opinions on such important subjects as these are. I consider them to be the writings of holy men in former ages, who were inspired by the Great Spirit, and that they contain good counsel and advice. But, brothers, I consider such, as tell you that they are the only rule or means of salvation, to be under the influence of a wrong spirit; for if we are to believe such sentiments as these, what must have become of millions of our fellow-creatures before the Scriptures were in existence ? Are we to suppose they are all eternally miserable ? And what must become of the millions now in existence in the world who never have heard, and never may hear, of these writings? Does not such an opinion charge the divine and gracious Creator with the wilful destruction of his creatures ? I believe such missionaries have made a wrong use of these writings to answer their own views, which the Good Spirit does not own. Being well assured, brothers, when present with you, that the Good Spirit in each of our hearts and minds, is all-sufficient for our salvation, if we never should be able to read those writings. With sincere desires for the welfare of the whole of my red brethren, I commend them to the care and protection of the Great Spirit, and bid your farwell.
- THOMAS SHILLITOE.” This paper I committed to the care of my kind friend Jacob Taylor, from whom I received the following note :
“ Collins, 3rd mo. 24th, 1827. “ On the 20th instant I had a seasonable opportunity to explain to both parties of the Cataragus Indians the communication thou left with me: I believe it was entirely satisfactory to them, and left a favourable impression, which will not soon be forgotten; their missionary being also present, but made no objection, and all ended quietly."
Fourth-DAY, 7th of 3d mo. 1827, we rode towards Collins meetinghouse, and took up our abode with our friend Charles Wood. Firstday morning, we proceeded towards Eden, where an indulged meeting is held, there being about fourteen families and parts of families that were considered to belong to this meeting. We had previously been informed, part of our road lay through a wood; on entering which, no regular beaten track was to be observed : in some places, trees which had recently been cut down, were left across the only path we could take; and no other way remained, but to do our best in passing over them, to the danger of throwing down our horses and breaking our carriage-wheels: it was with the greatest difficulty I could keep my seat in the waggon. After our faith and patience had been thus exercised, we were, though cold and fatigued, favoured to reach in safety the Friend's house where the meeting is held. After taking some refreshment, we took our seats at meeting with the aged couple belonging to the house, and three other small families, and one individual: it proved a very suffering meeting to me. I was afresh persuaded, these meetings held in rooms where the families generally live, are not, generally speaking, from different causes, attended with much benefit to those who attend them, especially when so largely attended as this meeting would be, if Friends belonging to it were rightly engaged, to be found coming up in the faithful discharge of their duty of assembling themselves together for the purpose of religious worship. I left them sorrowing, on account of the deplorably low state of the Society here, and the manner in which the cause was, I feared, suffering by the continuation of this indulged meeting: Friends here are so much away from the care and oversight of the well-concerned members of the monthly meeting. After meeting, we rode to our friend, Levi Bunting's, where we took up our abode for the night.
Third-day morning, we road to Orangeville, and took up our abode with our friend Jeremiah Butler: here also we found another of these indulged meetings of long standing, with an indulged preparative meeting. The next morning we sat down
with an agreeable little company of Friends. At the close of the meeting for worship, which is held in a private house, the preparative meeting sat: I felt considerable regret, during our sitting together, from the manner in which the meeting appeared to be interrupted for want of better accommodation : on mentioning this subject to Friends, it appeared that ground for building a meeting-house was provided : we left Orangeville, and returned next day to Hamburgh.
Seventh-day, (17th of 3rd mo.) we rode to Boston, where there is a small settlement of Friends, and took up our abode for the night, at the widow Kester's.
First-day morning, we attended the usual meeting held at this place, which was small, but the quietest meeting I have attended since I came on this side the water, as it respected a timely attendance, and Friends keeping their seats: the time of our sitting together was a season in which I thought we had cause to acknowledge, that our God had not forgotten to be gracious to us.
Fourth-day, attended their usual midweek meeting; at the close of which was held the preparative meeting, in which the queries were answered, as in other parts of this Yearly Meeting, the overseers bringing their answers ready prepared for the meeting's
I endeavoured to rouse Friends to a consideration of the necessity there was for each one to consider for himself, how far the answers that were intended for the monthly meeting did or did not convey a correct state of their meeting, and if shortness appeared in any part of the answers, that those who were aware of such shortness should be found faithful in opening to the meeting wherein the deficiency was: after meeting we rode to Hamburgh, to our kind friend John Durham's.
Fifth-day, attended Hamburgh midweek meeting, at the close of which the preparative meeting was held, which was to me a time of suffering, when the queries were to be answered, especially that query relative to the timely attendance of meetings, and behaviour therein; for I did not dare to suffer the answer to pass as it was brought in by the overseers, without making remarks on the great neglect manifested as to a timely attendance, and the manner in which the meetings were disturbed by the young people frequently going to the fire to warm themselves, and Friends bringing their dogs to meeting with them, suffering them to be walking about the meeting for worship the whole of the time, also the noise occasioned in the yard by their barking and fighting; my faithfulness I found opened the way for other Friends to relieve their minds on these subjects, with which they said they had long been burthened; this appeared to bring the meeting under considerable exercise and concern, that if possible these things might be prevented in future, several Friends expressing a hope that the remarks which had been made might not be forgotten. Although suffering had been my lot at this time