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receives the food which is willingly offered him, and listens to their instructions. He is still free. But as soon as he is baptized, he belongs to the church, and hence he looks with pain and longing to his native mountains. The church has an unalienable right to her children, a right which she exercises with rigour.
* Kotzebue, vol. iii. p. 43.
ATTEMPTS OF THE ENGLISH, PRIOR TO THE REVOLU
TIONARY WAR IN NORTH AMERICA, TO CONVERT THE INDIANS - SIMILAR MEASURES SUBSEQUENT TO THAT PERIOD - ATTEMPTS OF A LIKE NATURE BY THE AMERICANS OF THE UNITED
From the observations contained in the preceding chapter, and from the authorities referred to on the subject of the general result of the early Roman Catholic missions in North America, the reader will probably be of opinion that the labours of their missionaries effected little towards the conversion of the Indians. We may now inquire how far the Protestants were more successful.
Almost all the early royal charters and patents issued for British North America professed, among other things, the object of converting the Indians. King James I., in the Nova Scotia patent, (1621,) declared, in reference to those countries, “as are either inhabited or occupied by unbelievers, whom to convert to the Christian faith is a duty of great importance to the glory of God.” amble to the Pennsylvania charter, during a subse
In the pre
quent reign, it is also stated to be a principal object “ to reduce the savage natives by just and gentle manners to the love of civil society and Christian religion.” And the first royal charter granted to the colony of Massachussets Bay (1628) declared, “ And for the directing, ruling, and disposing of all other matters and things whereby our said people, inhabitants there, may be so religiously, peaceably, and civilly governed, as their good life and orderly conversation may win and invite the natives of the country to the knowledge and obedience of the only true God and Saviour of mankind, and the Christian faith : which, in our royal intention, and the advanturer's free profession, is the principal end of this . plantation.” The corporation which this charter established, bore, for its common seal, the figure of an Indian, erect, naked, a bow in one hand, an arrow in the other, and a scroll issuing from his mouth, with these words, - Come over and help us. It may
be curious to trace what followed this symbolical invitation.
Fourteen years after the date of this charter, a resolution passed the house of commons in England, which in its preamble — but in its preamble onlyadverted to the subject of Indian conversion : “Whereas the plantations in New England have,
* Douglass's Summary, vol. i., part 2, sect. viii.
by the blessings of the Almighty, had good and prosperous success without any public charge to this State, and are now likely to prove very happy for the propagation of the Gospel in those parts The rest of this document related to the colonial trade only; and it is not easy tó conjecturé upon what ground the resolution declared that the plantations were so likely to succeed at that time in the propagation of the Gospel, for, in point of fact, they do not appear to have then attempted to propagate it at all. In the instrument of union, executed in 1648, by which the separate colonies of Massachussets, Plymouth, Connecticut, and Newhaven, became joined in confederacy, it was declared, ". That they all came into those parts of America with the same errand and aim, to advance the Christian religion, and enjoy the liberty of their consciences with purity and peace;" but, hntil the year 1646, it does not appear that any step was taken by them, either separately or collectively, to advance that religion by extending it to the Indians. In that year, however, the general court of Massachussets recommended to the elders to see what could be done on this subject; and four persons were appointed, by whom the first visit was made for that purpose among the Indian wigwams, under the direction of a native chief, called Wauban or The Wind. There were four meetings of this sort in the course of that year. An account of their
proceedings was written by one of the resident ministers at the time; and the first chapter of his work, under the head of “ A true Relation of our Beginnings with the Indians,” thus described the commencement of their visitation :
Upon October 28, 1646, four of us (having sought God) went unto the Indians inhabiting within our bounds, with desire to make known the things of their peace to them.” They being all of them assembled, wee began with prayer, which now was in English, being not so farre acquainted with the Indian language as to express our hearts herein before God and them, but wee hope it will bee done ere long, the Indians desiring it, that they also might know how to pray : but this wee began in an unknown tongue to them, partly to let them know that this dutie in hand was serious and sacred, partly also in regard of ourselves, that wee might agree together in the same request and heart-sorrowes for them even in that place where God was never wont to be called upon. When prayer was ended, it was a glorious affecting spectacle to see a company of perishing forlorn outcasts diligently attending to the blessed word of salvation then delivered, professing they understood all that which was then taught them in their owne tongue. It much affected us that they should smell some things of the alablaster box broken open in that darke and gloomy habitation of filthiness and un