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Who has inclined thee to forsake the path
W. H. Pearce, Missionary at Calcutta.
ONE DROP AT A TIME. “LIFE,” says the late John Foster, “is expenditure: we have it, but as continually losing it; we have the use of it, but as continually wasting it. Suppose a man confined in some fortress, under the doom to stay there till his death ; and suppose there is there for his use a dark reservoir of water, to which it is certain none can ever be added. He knows, suppose, that the quantity is not very great ; he cannot penetrate to ascertain how much, but it may
little. He has drawn from it by means of a fountain, a good while already, and draws from it every day. But how would he feel each time of drawing and each time of thinking of it? Not as if he had a perennial spring to go to; not, “I have a reservoir, I may be at ease.' No! but, 'I had water yesterday, I have water to-day; but my having had it, and my having it to-day, is the very cause that I shall not have it on some day that is approaching. And at the same time I am compelled to this fatal expenditure!' So of our mortal, transient life! And yet men are very indisposed to admit the plain truth, that life is a thing which they are in no other way possessing than as necessarily consuming ; and that even in this imperfect sense of possession, it becomes every day less a possession !”
A SIN OR A SIGN. We have sometimes hesitated whether to call vanity in dress a sin or a sign. We will explain our meaning by an anecdote.
Some young ladies, feeling themselves aggrieved by the severity with which their friends animadverted on their gay plumes, necklaces, rings, flounces, etc., went to their pastor to learn his opinion. Do you think,” said they, “ that there can be any impropriety in our wearing these things?” “ By no means," was his prompt reply. 6. When the heart is full of ridiculous notions, it is perfectly proper to hang out the
The pastor took a right view of the matter. These outward ornaments are the signs of the “ ridiculous notions within ; and, until these notions are crowded out by the mighty power of the gospel, entering into the soul, and filling it with the nobler ideas of love towards God and man, we shall have but little success in our endeavours to reform the external person.
To carry out the idea of plumes ;—when a young lady's mind comes to be filled with the high and glorious objects of contemplation and pursuit which the gospel brings to the soul, she will naturally shed her gay plumage, as we see certain birds do in the spring of the year. Her gaudy ornaments will fall off without a struggle. But if we pluck them off by main force, we shall produce a great outcry, and our work will be in vain, for they will soon grow again. 0, 0.
A SLAVE'S EPITAPH. The following inscription is copied from a stone in the burial ground of Concord, Massachusetts.
66 God wills us free; man wills us slaves. I will as God wills; God's will be done.
“ Here lies the body of John Jack, a native of Africa, who died March, 1773, aged about sixty years. Though born in the land of slavery, he was born free; though he lived in a land of liberty, he lived a slave ; till by his honest, though stolen labours, he acquired the source of slavery, which gave him his freedom, though not long before death, the grand tyrant gave him his final emancipation, and set him on a footing with kings. Though a slave to vice, he practised those virtues without which kings are but slaves."
CHURCH MISSIONARY'S ACCOUNT OF THE OJIBWA
June 19, 1847.
Enclosed you will receive two parts. I hope you will find them useful, and perhaps they may not be the less interesting for having come from the scene of the missionary labour, to which they are intended to draw the attention of your readers.
May the Lord prosper your Society in the blessed work of spreading the knowledge of the Saviour through the length and breadth of the world, is the prayer
FREDERICK A. O'MEARA. To the Secretary of the
Religious Tract Society.
RED INDIANS OF LAKES HURON AND SUPERIOR,
BRITISH NORTH AMERICA. The Ojibwa Indians inhabit an extensive tract of country in the neighbourhood of the Lakes Huron and Superior, partly British, and partly United States territory. They gain their livelihood almost exclusively by hunting and fishing; the latter being chiefly pursued by the families in the immediate neighbourhood of the lakes and large rivers of their native wilds, while the former occupies those who dwell in the interior of the pathless forests.
Many are the toils and severe the privations that the Indian has to endure in procuring the means of subsistence for himself and his family, whether it be sought by trapping the
otter along the banks of his favourite river, or the marten in his chosen haunt; by invading the house of the industrious and sagacious beaver, or pursuing the reindeer, the buffalo, or the moose, over the wintry snows: all the occupations of the red man are such as would be considered by the white man as painfully toilsome and disagreeable.
He quits his wigwam in the morning furnished with a blanket, a gun, and a kettle, depending altogether on his fortune in the hunt for something to appease the cravings of hunger; and not unfrequently may he be seen returning in the evening from a hunting expedition of several days with downcast look and tottering step, having no fruits of his toil to bring with him to his famishing children. And this happens now much more frequently than in former days, for then he was left in quiet undisturbed possession of the extensive hunting grounds of his fathers; no white man's track had as yet frightened the animals from their accustomed haunts, and no white man's fire-water had dimmed his eye for taking aim, or unnerved his arın for drawing the bow, which he then but seldom found altogether to fail him in the supply of his necessities. But the children of civilization having first appeared as suppliants on their shores, have abused the hospitality of the sons of nature, and are now gradually depriving them of the advantages which they formerly derived from their wellstocked hunting grounds; so that where formerly every hunter's wigwam was well adorned with festoons of valuable furs, now seldom does any one, even of the most skilful, succeed in satisfying the trader who has advanced him a supply of clothing for the year; and not unfrequently he and his family have to endure the pangs of unsatisfied hunger for days together when sojourning in the deep recesses of the forest, and far from the habitation of his fellow Indians.
The Indians dwelling or rather wandering along the shores of the great lakes, use different methods of supplying themselves with the finny inhabitants of those fresh water seas.
During the moonless nights in summer the calm surface of the extensive bays of Lake Huron sometimes presents to the stranger the appearance of the well-lighted streets of a city, from the number of bark canoes, each with its light of blazing pine or birch rind, by means of which the Indians pursue their prey. And when the icy touch of winter has bound up the waters of the lake, the Indian still continues the pursuit. At an early hour of the winter's morning the ice is seen dotted with what appears from a distance to be little hillocks
of a dark colour, but which, on nearer inspection, are found to be formed of something hidden from the view by a blanket thrown over it. This proves to be an Indian fisherman, who having cut a hole in the ice, and cleared away the snow for several feet round, has extended himself at full length over the hole, excluding the light with his blanket, and by means of a decoy fish made of wood, loaded with lead, he endeavours to draw his prey towards him; and woe to the inhabitant of the deep that ventures within reach of his spear. Large quantities of very fine fish are thus procured by the Indians during the short days of winter. But alas! the white man is near to rob him of the fruits of his toil and exposure; with one hand extending the fire-water, and with the other laying hold of the poor Indian's fish, which the white trader finds to be a profitable article of commerce ; and thus what ought to bring plenty into the red man's wigwam becomes, through the iniquity of the white vender of fire-water, the cause of misery and wretchedness, and, as it often happens, of murder too.
Nothing can be conceived more filthy and wretched than the heathen Indian's wigwam. It often requires the Christian missionary to call to his aid the whole array of sacred motives with which he is influenced to enable him to endure the filth that he sees around him in the hovels into which he is called to bear the message of salvation, through the blood and righteousness of Christ.
Indeed so overpowering has it been on some occasions, that the writer has, when his work has been done and the Indian family sunk in repose, called his sledge dogs together, yoked them to his sledge, and proceeded on his journey over the ice during the clear cold nights of these regions, rather than continue all night where his missionary duty had led him to spend the whole or part of the preceding day.
Great difficulty and increase of labour are experienced by the missionary in those parts, arising from the wandering habits of the tribes among whom he dwells. Often when perhaps he has travelled a great distance in search of a band of Indians, who, he has learned, have been for some time encamped on a particular island or point of land; and when he imagines, as the place comes in sight, that his toil is about to be repaid by an opportunity of preaching to the poor heathen the glorious gospel of the blessed God, to his inexpressible disappointment he finds, on his arrival, nothing of the Indian encampment but the bare poles of the deserted wigwams, and