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'Besides contending with the difficulties which arose from the ignorance and habits of the Indians, Mr. S. met with obstructions from an unexpected quarter. If indignation ever rises in the breast of a good man, he will feel indiyoant when he reads that certain Dutch traders from Hudson's River, who had supplied the Indians with rum at a very advanced price, an, who took advantage of their folly, when in a state of intoxication, to make a good bargain with them, fcaring that their craft would be in danger, made every attempt to produce in their minds an aversion to the Christian religion, and a suspicion of the designs of a missionary. Mr. S. however, was so happy as to convince the Indians of the design of the traders, and thus counteracted the insinuations of those whose gain was thcir godliness.
In December he returned to the college, to remain until the commenceinent with the class which had been wider his care. He took with him 'two Indian boys, the sons of the Captain and the Lieutenant, and left in his school at Housatonic, Mr. Woodbridge of Springfield, who was very serviceable in promoting the objects of the mission. The number of scholars had now increased to 25'; and the opinion Mr. S. liad formed of the capacity of his tawney pupils, is thus expressed :-“ The Indian children excel the generality of ours in pregnancy of parts and good hamour. I am sure that I could not have found an English school anywhere that would have pleased me so much. -- Capt. Kunkapot is an excellent man, and, I believe, has the true sprit of Christianity in him. He knows a great deal; and by the character all his acquaintance give of him, his conduct is unexceptionable. : In Jan. 1735, deputies from the several clans which constituted the tribe of River Indians, met in council at Housatonie, to see whether they would approve the conduct of their Hlousatonic brethren in consenting to be taught the Christian religion. On the result of their deliberation every thing relative to the mission depended. The Rev. Mr. Williams and Mr. Hopkins of Springfield were therefore present. They fouud ncarly 200 Indians assembled, and among them Corluir, the chief Sachem of the whole nation. Mr. Willaims preached to one of the graVest and most attentive auditories' that he ever addressed ; and after repeated conferences, the proceedings at Housatonic receiv
"hand. 'Others believed the Sun in be God, or at least the residence of the Deity ; but that now they generally believed the existence of one Supreme Being, the maker of all things. He mentioned also sundry ridiculous things which they brelieved; as that the seven stars were 80 many Indians translated to Heaven in a siance; that the stars in Charles's Wain are so many men hunting a hear; that they begin the chace in the spring, and hold it all summer ; by the fall they have wounded it, and thai tbe blood . turns the leaves red; by the winter they have killed it, and the snow is
made of its fat; which being melted by the heat of summer, makes the sap of trees.'
MEMOIR OF THE REV. J. SERGLANT: ed the approbation of the council. They desired Mr. Woodbridge to continue in the school; and expressed a wish that Mr. Sergeant would return.*
In May, Mr. S. made a short visit to the Indians; and in July left New Haven, intending to pass the remainder of his life at Housatonic. Soon after he returned, be baptized the cap. tain and lieutenant, with their families; first unfolding to them the nature of the rite, and discoursing upon all the important; points of belief and practice in the Christian religion. The lieutenant,' he says in his Journal, is a clear-headed smart man, and is one of the best speakers we hear ; is free in conversation, and talks excellently well. He has entirely left off drinking to excess, and declaims against it; shews great compassion towards the rest of the Indians, and seems heartily to lament their miserable condition.'
Mr. Serjeant's auditory gradually increased; he was heard ata tentively by strangers, who happened to be present; and such favourable impression was made upon their minds, that some of them sent their children to the school; and a few families were induced to reside at Housatonic. In a few months after his seta tlement, he had baptized about 40 persons, adults and children ; and there was the same number of scholars in the school. He was cheered with much greater success than he could anticipate in so stort a time. He beheld the wolf dwelling peaceably with the lamb, and the lion eating straw like the ox.
Sometime after this, Mr. Š. says, “Those who were baptized have behaved very well, though they have several times been tempted to exceed the rules of temperance by the offers of strong drink, which used to be their beloved destruction. They seem to be surprized with the change they find in themselves, expressing the difference between their former state and the present, by infancy and manhood, dreaming and being awake, darkness and light, and the like metaphors. I pray God that the Day-Star which seems to have arisen in their hearts, may shine more and more to the perfect day.'
It has already been mentioned that the Housatonic Indians lived on two tracts of land, several miles distant from each other. In order to remove the inconveniences occasioned by this circumstance, the General Court purchased of the Indians in 1736, all the land which they owned at Skatekook ; and in return granted them a township 6 miles square, including Wnahktukook, qr the Great Meadow. This township is now called Stockbridge.
* After business was finished, a frolic followed of course's Their dancing is a most laborious exercise. They dance round a hot fire till they are almost ready to faint, and are wet with sweat ; they then run out, and, stripping themselves naked, expose their bodies to the cold air, roll in the snow till they are cold, and then return to tfieir dance ing again. They repeat this four or five times in a night, coucluding with excessive drinking. Waen they are drunk, they often fall asleep in the open air, perhaps buried in snow.
Mr. Sergeant and Mr. Wco:lbridge were each made proprietors of one 60th part ; and 4 English families, carefully selected, were to be admitted for the purpose of assisting in civilizing the Ins dians, and that the solitary servants of the Lord might be furnished with some cheering society.
Previcusly, however, 10 the conjunction of the two companies, they went into the woods, for a number of weeks, to make sugar from the maple; and Mr. S. onwilling they should remain so long without instruction, accompanied them. He prayed with 'then inorning an evening, in their own language, and preached on the Sabbath. In the day, he taught the children to read, and at night the adults collected, that they might learn to sing. While he was in the woods, the snow was about a foot and a half deep. A deer-skin, spread upon some spruce boughs, with two or three blankets, formed his bed ; and water from the brook was his only drink.
We bere see the man of true benevolence. We behold an ob. ject which casts contempt on all earthly dignity, and eclipses the glory derived frem geniu:, learning, or conquest !
Who the Indians were setuled in one village at Stockbridge, in 1737, Mr. S. was enabled to instruct them in a more regular manner. He had become well acquainte:l with their language, and translated into it several prayers, and Dr. Watts's Firsi Catechism. Ile conversed frequently with his own people, and with strangers who visiteul them, and endeavoure:1 to impress their minds with the truth and excellence of the Christian religion. At the request of some ludians living at Kaunaunrek, about 18 miles to ibe N.W. he visited them, and preached in the Indian language. He thus opened a way for the establishment of a mission among them a few years afierwards, by the excellent Mr. Brainerd.
Fron this time to that of his death in 17-19, Mr. S. continued his faithiul labours at Hiusatonic; but his views were not confined to the small tribe with which he was connected. earnestly desirous that the blessings of the gospel might be extended to the larger tribes, who were still in darknes. To this , and he was pirticularly careful to cultivate the friendship of strangers ; he preaci!ed to a number of Indians on in island in Hudson's River, and even vislied the Shawanoos, who lived 220 miles distant on the Susquehannalı.
Although Mr. Sergeant could not complain of a total want of success at Stockbridge, yet his exertions were not prospired in the degree that he wished. The manner in which the ladians livel, presented in almost insuperable difficulty. Exrept wben employail in hunting, the men were generally idle; and idle less led the way to drunkenness. Besides this, their language was 60 barbarous, that it was impossible by means of it !o c immunscate fully the important truths of the gospel. In order to surwount these difficulties, Mr. S. was convinced that it was ab, XVII,
solutely necessary to civilize them, and to persuade them to exchange their own for the English language and habits. For this purpose, he wished several white families to be placed among them; and the more completely to accomplish this object, he formed the plan of a school for the education of Indian children. He proposed that a number of children and youth, from 10 to 20 years of age, should be placed under the care of two masters ; one to have the oversight of them in the hours of labour, and the other in the hours of study; that their time should be so divided between study and labour, that none be lost in idleness; that 200 acres should be devoted to their use, which they should cultivate; that they should be accustomed to restraint and obedia pace; that gæls as well as boys should be received into the school; and ihat they should be taught the duties of domestic life. This plau Mr. S., by great exertion, was enabled in part to curry into execution just before his death.
As to the success which attended his lrenevolent labours, it was such as must have administered to his heart the purest satisfaction. W'be he went to lioasatonic in 1734, the whole number of Indians living there did not amount to 51; when he died in 1749, the number was increased in 218; of these 129 had been baptized, and 42 were communicants, 18 males and 24 females. About 70 others had been baptized who were not living. When it is recollected that Mr. S. was cautious as to the admission of members into his church, we mny indulge the hope, that most whom he received were real Christians ; if, however, he was the means of bringing but one heathen to the knowledge of the gospel, this event would fill Heaven with joy
At length the tine arrived when he was to be summoned into the world of spirits. In his sickness he was frequently visited by the Indians; and ke tock every opportunity to enforce upon then the instructions which he had givea them, charging them to live agreeably to the gospel, as they would meet him at last in peace. So great was their affection for him, that they assembled of their own accord, to supplicate their Father in Heaven for the continuance of his precious life.
When he was asked whether the grave excited any terror, he replied, Death is no surprize to me. My acquaintance with the blessed world, to which I hope I am now hastening, through the
mercy of God in Christ, is not how to commence. I can trust Him in whom I have believed, and long ago placed my everlasting dependence upen.' On being reminded that his work was well done, I call myself,' he answered, “a most unprofitable servant, and say, Gol be nacrcihil to me a sinner.' In Joly, 1749, after commending his depariing spirit to the blessed Redeemer, he died in peace, and entereti into that rest which remaineth for the people of God.
Mr. Sergeant has left an example well worthy of imitation. He was frequeut in secret prayer: morniog and evening he worship
ped God in his family, reading a portion of the Scriptures, and making observations upon it. lle prcached four sermons every Lord's Day, two to the English, and two to the Iudians; and, in the summer, usually spent an ho:r with the latter after the common sel vices, instructing and exharing them in the most familiar manner.
Besides thuis, during the week, he kept his eye upon them, and continually endeavoured to promote the objects of his mission. He was very careiul in the improvement of his tire. He translated into the ludian language many parts of the Old Testament, and the whole ci' the New, except the Reve
This was a work which cost him much labour; and reading it to the Indians, as their language abounded in gutturals, was extremely fatigning:
Mr. S. was just, ki d, and benevolent; compassionale to the afil.ctd, liberal to the poor, frienally to his enemies, and anxious to save the sinner from death. He was careful not to speak evil of any one. No envious or unkiud word fell from his lips; and no resentment was excited by the injuries he received. His cheertulness did not degenerate into merriment, nor his seriousness into melaucholy; but he seemed always to bave the quiet possession of himself.
The reader who, with a benevolent joy, has seen the gospel conveyed to the Indians at Housatonic, will naturally desire to know what has been the state of that tribe since the death of Mr. Sergeant. The Rev. Jonathan Edwards succeeded him as missionary at Stockbridge. A number of years after his death, the whole tribe emigrated to New Stockbridge, near Oncida, in the state of New York; where they now live, under the pastoral care of the Rev. John Sergeant, a worthy son of the excellent man whose life and labours have thus been given.
H I N T S
THE CONDUCTORS OF THE EDINBURGH REVIEW.
Ne quid nimis. Gentlemen,
In a late number of your learned and valuable work, I observed a Review of Ingram on Methodism. This arrested my attention more than any thing I bave sceu for a long time past. To the work itself, you do not pay any further attention thau hy bestowing your faint praises upon it; but, notwithstanding, it serves an excellent porpose in your hands as a pivot, upon which you hang your observations against the Evangelical and Methodist Magazines, and against Methodism itself. This was Very convenient for you indeed; and Mr. Iogram is indebted to