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religion; and others abandon themselves to pleasure and vice. These evils, it is believed, are not increasing; but their existence furnishes an occasion for sorrow. Many profane the holy Sabbath, or degrade themselves, and distress and ruin their families by intemperance; and still greater numbers habitually neglect family worship, and the public ordinances of religion. It is also much to be lamented, that many of the churches, instead of exhibiting that elevated and fervent piety and faithful discipline which would render them“ terrible as an army with banners," are yielding to a spirit of worldliness and lukewarmness, which furnishes the enemies of the Lord with too much occasion for reproach, and triumph, and blasphemy. And we remark, with painful sensibility, that some churches and parishes, once favoured with public religious instruction, are suffering a wasting“ famine,” not of bread, but“ of hearing the word of the Lord." In these wastes of Zion, ignorance, error, profaneness, and infidelity are prevalent; for “ where no vision is, the people perish.” They present a claim, not to be resisted, to the tears, and prayers, and charities, of the benevolent.
These are some of the dark traits in the religious character of this portion of the Lord's vineyard. They are not to be concealed : they are known and read of all men: and they fill the hearts of Christians with concern and anguish. Should this state of things continue, fearful must be the condition of many around us.
But we hasten to present the cheering features, in the complexion of the churches within our bounds, which can be recognised with no other feelings than those of devout and admiring gratitude and joy. The
past year, though not marked with such extensive revivals of religion as have on some occasions imparted a peculiar interest to the reports presented to this body, has afforded much evidence, that the Lord hath not forsaken us, that our God bath not forgotten to be gracious. The towns of Richmond, Lanesborough, Hinsdale, Greenfield, Royalston, Ashburnham, Princeton, Holden, Wendal, and Westminster, have been blessed with a season of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. Encouraging tokens of seriousness and deep attention bave recently appeared in Danvers, Lynn, Beverly, and especially in Marblehead. The spirit of prayer has been poured out upon the churches, and many have become the subjects of deep religious impressions, and considerable numbers have been hopefully brought to the knowledge of the truth unto salvation. Not a small number of our churches are now rejoicing in the precious fruits of copious outpourings of the Spirit in past years. It is stated, that but few instances of defection have been noticed. The hopeful converts, many of whom are from among the youth, continue steadfast in the faith, and adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour. The Monthly Concert of Prayer excites a deep and lively interest, and is devoutly and generally attended. Our adored Redeemer“ walketh in the midst of the golden candlesticks, and holdeth the stars in his right hand."
Increased and systematic attention has been paid, the past year, to the religious instruction of children and youth. Sabbath Schools have been opened in many places, and crowds of children, both of the rich and of the poor, bave been collected on the Lord's day, and instructed in the Holy Scriptures. With no ordinary feelings of approbation, we hail this happy expedient, as one that promises great good to the rising generation. It has already excited the atiention of parents to that ancient, but much neglected precept, “ These words which I command thee this day shall be in thy heart, and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and sbalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou
The liberal are devising liberal things. If the pulse of holy charity is not as yet excited to the elevated standard of Christian duty; if some, through ignorance, and others through covetousness, withhold more than is meet,“ still we have witnessed a liberality which merits our grateful commendation. Missionary, Bible, and Education Societies, receive increasing patronage; and not a small number of associations more limited in extent, but not less active, some of males, and more of females, are lending their aid to various objects of religious charity. The munificence of the Christian pub. lic has enabled the Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, to pursue a system of efficient measures for diffusing the light of holy truth among the perishing beathen. Thirteen of our brethren are actively and ardently engaged as missionaries, at differant stations, and on different continents, in this holy, self-denying, and glorious work. The smiles of heaven have attended their steps. More than eight hundred children are instructed in the missionary schools. From the Cherokee nation we have received the gladdening intelligence, that a number liave become subjects of serious impressions, and five bave been introduced into the church, as the first fruits of the Gospel among these Gentiles.
“ The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.” In this connexion we would notice, with heartfelt gratitude, the smiles of Zion's God upon efforts to prepare ung men for the ministry. The Theological Institution at Andover, founded in unexampled liberality, endowed with ample resources, enriched and watered with the prayers of the faithful, is commended to the affections of the church by the conspicuous success of its operations. From this seat of sanctified science about one bundred and sixty young men have gone forth to the work of the ministry; and eighty-iwo, its present number of members, are preparing to follow ikem. In Williams' College, nearly one half of its students, about ninety in number, are the hopeful friends of religion.-The American Education Society is furnishing aid to upwards of one bundred and thirty beneficiaries, in the different stages of their studies. Upon the success of these Institutions, the dearest interests of the church are suspended. Thry are fountains whose streams shall make glad the city of our God.
(After taking a view of the state of Religion in the Presbyterian Church, in Connecticut, New-Hampshire, and Vermont, the Report concludes :)
On the whole, though we find much in our country, and in our guilty world, to fill us with concern and sorrow, we certainly find very much to inspire us with hope and joy, and to encourage us to action. The prayers and efforts of Christians are accompanied with special tokens of the divine blessing. The church is increasing in stability, beauty, and strength. “She is enlarging the place of her tent, and stretching forth the curtains of her habitations." Every friend of this divine and inspiring cause, we would address in the comforting language of the prophet, “Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of ihe stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken. But there, the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams. For the Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Law-giver, the Lord is our King; he will save us.” Per Order,
Timothy M. Cooley, Chairman.
TUSCARORA INDIANS. Extract from a communication in the American Daily Advertiser,
dated Philadelphia, September 17. Those who consider the attempts to civilize the Indians as hopeless, are invited to peruse the following short, unexaggerated description of one of their tribes, visited a few weeks since by the writer of this article.
The village of the Tuscarora tribe of Indians is situate about 3 miles to the eastward of Lewistown, in the neighbourhood of the Falls of Niagara; the tribe consists of about 300. They hold a considerable body of land in this place, and cultivate it extremely well. Their fields of wheat and Indian corn are nearly as good as those of the whites, and they are surrounded with most of the comforts of civilization. There is a missionary residing here, the Rev. Mr. Crane, from New York, who is much and deservedly beloved by them. They have a school conducted on the Lancasterian plan, and the proficiency of the children in the elementary branches of knowledge, is alike creditable to their teacher and themselves. Public worship is regularly kept up, and generally well attended.
The writer of this can, with truth, acknowledge, that few inci. dents of his life will be recollected with more pleasure, than his visit to the church of the Tuscarora Indians. The respectability, neatness, and comfort of their appearance, and the solemnity of devotional feeling, the devotion of the heart, which apparently pervaded the audience, furnished, indeed, a most delightful spectacle. There was no symptom of indecorum of conduct in one of the naLives present, but all their behaviour became the occasion. To behold those who had been accustomed to every idolatry, and the evils connected with it, worshipping the only true GOD, and partaking of the consolations of genuine religion, furnished to the mind, in an eminent degree, pure and unalloyed delight. The Throne of Grace was addressed in humble, fervid terms by the minister; and though the human heart is known only to Him who formed it, yet, if the poor Indians did not most devoutly join in the public prayer, appearances can in no instances be relied on. After which, a number of them rose and sung a hymn by note, in their native language, with great effect. It was a translation of an English hymn, set to the same music as the original. A venerable Indian then took his stand by the side of the minister, and rendered his sermon into Indian, sentence by sentence. Their general character in the neighbourhood is good, and their observance of the Sabbath, (in which the whites furnish them a bad example,) is truly commendable. We took our leave of these interesting natives, with feelings not easily described, and with wishes for their welfare at once ardent and sincere. In their journeyings through a world of sorrow, may they be protected and supported by divine Providence, and solaced by the friendship of Cbristian friends; and when they bid adieu to terrestrial things, may they join the wise and good of all nations, in the fruition of bappiness beyond the grave.
FROM THE LATTER DAY LUMINARY.
RIVER. The Missionaries, brethren Peck and Welch, with their families, arrived at St. Louis, it appears, about the first of December last.
[In March, 1818, they formed “the Western Baptist Missionary Society," to be under the patronage of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions for the United States.]
MINUTES OF THE WESTERN MISSIONARY SOCIETY. Marcu 4.-The Missionaries opened a Sunday school for the instruction of Africans in this village ; and it is with peculiar satisface tion that they record the attendance of no less than fourteen the first day.
To the Cor. Sec. dated St. Louis, March 14, 1818. In addition to the foregoing communications, permit us to forward also the following remarks respecting the southern and interior parts of this territory. This information Las been obtained from several persons, but more particularly from a Baptist minister by the name of Edwards, who has resided on this side of the Mississippi most of the time since 1811. Last year he spent some time in itinerating in the lower part of the territory, to examine into the state of religion.
In this tour be rode more than 1000 miles, visited all the principal settlements on the Arkansas, the St. Francis, and the White rivers. In some places the people are not only destitute of ministers of any denomination, but deplorably ignorant of the gospel. In other settlements some attention is paid to religion. Baptist professors are scattered through the different parts of the country. They have reinoved from Kentucky and other western states, but now are deprived of the gospel. In some settlements churches might be formed, could there be ministers obtained to oversee them. This part of the territory is rapidly settling; but unless missionaries go amongst them they must be destitute of the gospel for some years to come. Between St. Louis and the above mentioned region are seven small churches, situate mostly in Cape Giradeau county. These united in an association in 1815, calling themselves the "Bethel Baptist Association."
Pursuant to our instructions from the Board, we have neglected no opportunity in which we might obtain information relative to the Indian tribes in this western land. The Delawares and Shawnese, the remnants of once powersul tribes, live froin 20 to 40 miles from cape Giradeau. They are not numerous, perhaps two or three hundred of each tribe.
The Delawares have expressed a desire to have their children instructed in English, and that if a teacher is sent amongst them they will build a schoolhouse. A band of the Cherokees have lately removed from their tribe east of the Mississippi, and are settled on the Arkansas. This was in consequence of an exchange of lands by the United States' government. The Cherokees, Shawnese,
and Delawares, are leagued together, and agree mutually to support each other. Within a few months past they have made war upon the Osage nation, and 'tis said have destroyed a considerable village. A gentlenian who saw and conversed with their warriors as they returned from the fight, told brother Peck that they had about one hundred scalps, which they showed as trophies of victory. The cause of this war is said to be the murders and other depredations which for years have been committed by the Osages upon the Delawares and Shawnese.
There is a settlement of about 150 Indians on the Merrimac river, about 50 miles west of St. Louis. Their ch ef is a white man, by . the name of Fish. Some of this band converse in English. They
ave comfortable dwellings, and are said to have made considerable progress in civilization.
Another small settlement of natives are in the neighbourhood of St. Louis, not more than 10 miles distant. One of us expects to visit this band in a few days.
The Osages live more than 300 miles west of St. Louis, on, and beyond the Osage river. They are a numerous nation, but scattered over an extensive country. They are more generally represented as a peaceable and well disposed nation, and inclined to become civilized, though some persons give them a different character. The Sacks, (pronounced Soks,) and Foxes, (a band of the Sacks or Saukies,) are settled betwixt 150 and 300 miles up the Mississippi. Some are scattered through the upper part of the Illinois Territory. They are not very friendly, though not on terms of hostility with our