A BRIEF MEMOIR
LIFE, LABOURS, AND DEATH
JOHN STEWART, (MAN OF COLOUR,)
FOUNDER, UNDER GOD
THE MISSION AMONG THE WYANDOTTS AT UPPER
PUBLISHED BY JOSEPH MITCHELL
PRINTED BY J. C. TOTTEN,
NO. 9 BOWERY.
Southern District of New. Mark, ss.
BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the twenty-first day of June, A. D. 1827, in the fifty-first year of the Independence of the United States of America, John C. Totten, of the said District, hath deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words following to, wit:
‘The Missionary Pioneer, Brief Memoir of the Life, Labours, and Death of John Stewart, (man of colour,) Founder, under God, of the Mission among the Wyandotts at Upper Sandusky, Ohio. Published by Joseph Mitchell.’
In conformity to the Act of Congress of the United States, entitled “An Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned.” And also to an Act, entitled “An Act, supplementary to an Act, entitled an Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching hiistorical and other prints.”
FREDERICK I. BETTS,
Clerk of the Southern District of New York,
Springfield, (O.) May 28, 1827.
Agreeably to your request, I offer you my opinion of the brief memoir of the life and labours of John Stewart, which you are about to publish. Having myself been the first to assist Stewart in Missionary labours among the Wyandotts, I became acquainted with him, and with the concerns of the then infant and unorganised mission, early in February, 1819; and my acquaintance with Stewart was uninterrupted, nearly to the period of his death. I have consequently had a tolerable opportunity of being acquainted with the circumstances detailed in your little work, and from personal knowledge and authentic information, I consider the memoir of Stewart, in all particulars, as entitled to full Credit.
In my opinion it is due to the Christian public, to give them some account of the life and labours of this faithful Missionary Pioneer, and I am gratified to find you are about to
publish something on the subject. I have also received letters from Messrs Isaac and Walker, expressing their entire approbation of your undertaking, and informing me that the Chiefs, John Hicks and Thomas Manoncue wish to be known as decidedly approving your publication, the object and contents of which were made known them by Mr. Walker.
I am, & c.
MOSES M. HENKLE.
REV. JOSEPH MITCHELL.
As the preface of a book is very seldom read, especially if it be of any considerable length, it shall be an object to make this is brief as can be justified by the nature of the incidents detailed in this narrative.
In the striking circumstances of John Stewart’s missionary call, and in the success of his labours, there is evident the hand of a special Providence, which must be interesting to the Christian commonwealth; and those circumstances belong to them of right. Whereever it is known that this humble African, has been, under God, the founder of what is now, perhaps, the most prosperous missionary establishment on this continent; a more particular account of his history and labours has been demanded. And since he has been taken from labour to reward, this call has become more general and pressing. For several years past, some of the most distinguished
Christians and Christian Ministers in the United States, have earnestly requested those, whose former connexion with the mission, gave them the best means of information, to furnish the public with the early history of the Wyandott Mission, and of Stewart its founder. This, for several reasons has never been done. And one cause of its delay has been an expectation, fairly authorised, that such a history would, long since, have been given to the public from another quarter. But as reasonable expectation has been so long disappointed, as the facts of this narrative have only lived in the recollection of a few individuals, thus far, and as delay must soon have consigned those interesting facts to oblivion, it is deemed a duty now to rescue those which yet remain, from that fate, by giving them to the world in a more permanent form. The Editor has however to regret the existence of several circumstances which must prevent this work from being either as full or as interesting as could be wished. Among these are the following: several persons from whom doubtless much
information might have been obtained, have already exchanged this life for eternal realities, and the time allowed for collecting and arranging the materials for this little work has been so very limited as to render it impossible to collect all the facts and anecdotes of interest, which are yet attainable, relative to the subject of this brief memoir. It is confidently believed, that should another edition of this narrative be called for, it will be in the power of the Editor to render it more acceptable than this, by the addition of much valuable matter, which he will he enabled to collect.
The incidents recorded in this memoir may be relied on as substantially correct, as they were collected and arranged by William Walker, who resided in the Wyandott Nation at the time of Stewart’s first visiting them, and does to the present. His opportunities consequently have been peculiarly favourable to the purposes of acquiring correct information, and therefore most of what he records is from personal knowledge. And as his character for veracity is entirely unimpeachable,
his narrative is entitled to the fullest credit. What he has gathered from others has been collected from those who were most intimately acquainted with Stewart, and with the concerns of the mission in its infancy, and who only detailed to him such facts as had fallen under their own observation, or were certainly known to them.
It will be readily seen by the reader, that this little memoir is not intended as the panegyric of its pious subject; but merely as a record of interesting incidents, in which he had a prominent agency. Eulogy on his virtues is not needed; for Heaven has awarded him a more substantial and enduring inheritance. And though on earth his lot was one of poverty, persecution,and extreme adversity, the patience and resignation of christianity bore him above the waves. And though unmarked by a stone, his ashes obscurely repose in the wilderness, we doubt not, his virtues and his name stands registered in the Lamb’s Book of everlasting life.
May 28th, 1827.
The subject of the following Memoir, was born and lived in Powhatan County, State of Virginia, until he arrived at the age of about twenty-one years. His parents were free, and members of the Baptist Church; but John was a careless sinner. In this situation he was, when about four years afterwards, he was robbed of all his property while on his way from Virginia to Marietta, in the State of Ohio. This circumstance brought him to reflect seriously on the state of his soul; but grief and vexation prevailed over hope and patience. The loss of his property, the distance from his friends, the idea of poverty and disgrace, together with the wretched situation of his mind on account of his soul’s affairs, brought him to the shocking determination that he would immediately take measures to hasten his dissolution. And for this purpose
he forthwith commenced a course of excessive drinking at a public house, which was continued until his nerves became mulch affected, his hands trembling so, that it was with difficulty he could feed himself. In this practice and condition he remained for a considerable length of time, still fixed in the determination to destroy his life, and precipitate himself into ruin. His mischievous design was at length frustrated by his landlord, who discovered his intention and withheld spirituous liquors from him. This measure brought him more deliberately to reflect on his miserable condition, when a view of the awful state of his soul compelled him to cry out,”Oh! wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me,”& It was at this time that he passed in his mind the inquiry, which would give the least pain to his father’s family, to hear that without property he was honestly striving to make his way through life, or that by intemperance he had hurried himself to an untimely grave. The result was, he resolved to abandon the service of”the wicked one,” and cast himself upon the mercy of God, for
support and salvation. He then”joined himself to a citizen of the place,”(Marietta, Ohio, where he then was,) to assist in making sugar, a distance from town, in the woods. This situation afforded him a good opportunity for reading, meditation, prayer, and seeking the Lord in private. Soon, however, be had to quit his sequestered state and return to town, where, contrary to the most solemn vows and promises, which he had previously made to forsake sin and seek the Lord, he united with others in shameful acts of night revellings, which instead of affording relief to his”wounded spirit,”only produced (in the moment of retirement and reflection) greater grief and distress. An occurrence here took place which much alarmed him: an intimate companion of his, was suddenly called by death from time to eternity. With this individual he had made an appointment to spend one more night in sin; but death interfered and disappointed them both. Stewart’s convictions of mind were thereupon greatly increased, and he began to despair of ever obtaining mercy at the hand of the Lord.
One day while wandering along the banks of the Ohio, bewailing his wretched and undone condition, the arch enemy of souls suggested to him a remedy; which was to terminate the miseries he endured, by leaping into the deep, and thereby putting an end to his existence. To this suggestion, he at first felt a disposition to yield; but his attention was arrested by a voice, which as he thought, called him by name, when on looking around he could see no person, whereupon he desisted from the further prosecution of the desperate project. He then resolved to make another effort to seek mercy and pardon at the hand of God. Having hired a house for the purpose of carrying on his trade, (the blue dying business,) he had another opportunity of being much alone, which privilege he improved in seeking the Lord”carefully with tears.” The more he exercised himself in meditation and prayer, the more was he impressed with a sense of his guilt. He now saw no way for him to escape the wrath to come–he felt that he deserved to be driven from the presence of the Most High into”outer darkness.”
It was then that he was enabled to cast himself at the foot of the cross, and to lay hold by faith on the Saviour of sinners as his last and only refuge, crying”Lord save or I perish!”Then it was that the Lord was pleased to reveal his mercy and pardonning love to his fainting soul, causing him to burst forth from his closet in raptures of unspeakable joy, declaring what the Lord had done for his poor soul. He now could truly say,
“Jesus all the day long,
Is my joy and my song.”
He could then rejoice in the Lord from a sense of the”love of God being shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost,”&c. There being no Baptist church near, he did not join himself to any religious Society.–In his youth he had imbibed strong prejudices against other denominations, particularly the Methodists, of whom he had a contemptible opinion. Thus, slighting and neglecting the duties of the temple, it will not be surprising to hear that he soon neglected those of the
closet also, which soon resulted in a dead and barren state of soul. He now began to feel the pains and miseries from which the Lord had so recently delivered him. Whereupon he began to doubt the reality or genuineness of his conversion, and this appears to have resulted from his belief of a doctrine in which he had been educated, namely”once in grace always in grace.” In this situation he remained for some time, bewailing his wretched case, when, as he walked out one evening he heard the sound of singing and praying proceed from a house at no great distance. It proved to be a Methodist prayer meeting. His prejudice first forbade his going in; but curiosity prompted him to venture a little nearer, and at length he resolved to enter and make known his case, which he did to the few who were in attendance. Here he was encouraged to seek with all his heart the last blessing. Soon after this he attended a Camp-Meeting, where he remained for sometime with a heavy heart, and disconsolate mind. He at length resolved to distinguish himself by taking a place
among the mourners of the assembly, where he lay deploring his case all night, even until the break of day, at which time”the sun of righteousness”broke into his dark bewildered soul. Peace, and”joy in the Holy Ghost” now succeeded, and he could shout”glory to God in the highest,”with”the morning stars”that witnessed his deliverance. Not until then were the deep rooted prejudices against the people called Methodists removed from his mind. It was then that he united himself to the people whom he had formerly held in the greatest contempt–took their people to be his people, and their God to be his God. For the space of three months he went on his way rejoicing, prosperously labouring for body and soul. About this time, being one evening at private devotion, suddenly he heard a sound which much alarmed him: and a voice (as he thought) said to him– “Thou shalt declare my counsel faithfully;” at this same time a view appeared to open to him in a Northwest direction, and a strong impression was made on his mind, that he must go out that course into the world to
declare the counsel of God. This singular event gave him much uneasiness and exercise of mind, and having mentioned the matter to a friend, he received an explanation which greatly increased his concern; for it was intimated that he might expect to be called upon to go abroad and preach the gospel which to him was an afflicting consideration, having never before entertained a thought of such an undertaking. Judging himself entirely unqualified for such a work, he determined to avoid it if possible, and accordingly made ready to follow his friends to to the State of Tennessee. He was, however, prevented from taking this step by a severe illness, in which his life was despaired of. He still fancied he heard sounding in his ears the voice above mentioned, and the same impression continued with respect to his travelling to the Northwest. At length he resolved, that if it should please the Lord to spare his life, and restore him to health again, he would go out that course and see where he should be conducted, although he feared he should be killed by the first Indians he should meet
with. He was restored to health, and according to the determination he had entered into before his God, he set out without credentials, directions of the way, money or bread, crossed the Muskingum River for the first time, and travelled a northwest course, “not knowing whither he went.”As he proceeded, he was met by sundry persons, who, having learned something of the nature of his undertaking, strove in vain to dissuade him from the pursuit. He urged on his way, keeping about the same course, which he was frequently informed would lead him into the Indian country on the Sandusky river, sometimes with, and sometimes without a road, without a pilot, without fireworks, sometimes wading the waters and breaking the ice.– Meeting with some Indians who appeared friendly, he was by them conducted and introduced to the tribe of Delawares at Pipe-Town, on the Sandusky river. On entering the village, he was conducted to one of the Indian cabins and seated. Here he endeavoured to enter into conversation, but found they understood but little of his language.
As they contemplated having a dance that day, and were not to be diverted from it by the arrival of the stranger, they commenced their exercise by one singing and the rest dancing, which actions produced some fears in him that they were about to kill him. In this however, his fears were groundless: they soon desisted from their exercise; he then took out his hymn book and sung a hymn, during which time there was a profound silence. When he had ceased singing, one spoke in English and said,”Sing more,”he then sung again, and asked for an interpreter; in a short time one was produced (an old Delaware, named Lyons,) the Indians placed themselves in a position to hear, and he delivered to them a speech. On this occasion the Indians appeared attentive, and at the close a kind of entertainment was provided and he reposed, fully believing that he had now accomplished the design of his little and singular mission, intending on the next day to return towards Marietta, from thence to prosecute his journey after his friends to the State of Tennessee. But to his great surprise,
on the next morning he still felt strong impressions of mind to pursue his journey to the Northwest.
Under the influence of this impression he prepared to depart from the village; but was requested to continue that day with them; to this he objected, saying that his business was urgent and did not admit of his staying longer with them, whereupon with tears he bid them adieu and departed.. Having found amongst these people so much friendship and hospitality, “he thanked God and took courage.” And having received directions concerning the way, he proceeded towards Upper Sandusky, where he soon arrived, and called at the house of Mr. William Walker, who at that time was sub-agent amongst the Indians. Mr. Walker, suspecting him to be a runaway slave, interrogated him closely. Stewart related his experience and the singular impression of mind under which he was conducted thither. Mr. Walker being fully satisfied, gave him encouragement, and directed him to the house of Jonathan Pointer, a black man, who in his youth had been taken
prisoner by the Wyandotts, and had learned to speak the tongue of the nation fluently. He soon arrived at Jonathan’s house, and obtained an interview with him.–With his company and conversation, Jonathan was not very well pleased, and consequently gave evasive and unsatisfactory answers to the inquiries made respecting the Wyandotts. Stewart asked whether it would be convenient to have the Indians collected together for the purpose of preaching to them. To which Jonathan replied, that it would be of no use for him to attempt to make Christians of them; because many great and learned men of different denominations had attempted it in vain, and that it certainly would answer no good purpose for him to attempt any thing of the kind. Our Missionary, however, was not to be diverted from his purpose without making the attempt: believing as he did that the Great Head of the Church had entrusted him with a special message to this people. Jonathan was at the same preparing to go to a feast which was to be held in the neighbourhood on that day. Stewart asked leave to
accompany him: to this Jonathan reluctantly consented. When they arrived at the place appointed for the feast, they found a large number of Indians collected and dancing.– The feast and dance were conducted with the usual mirth and hilarity. At the close of the ceremonies he asked permission to make a speech to them on the occasion, which was granted. He then for the first time addressed a Wyandott assembly, through Jonathan, who officiated in the capacity of interpreter, and valued himself highly on account of his eloquence in the Wyandott tongue. During the time of the discourse, a profound silence prevailed in the whole assembly. At the close, Stewart told them he had one request to make of them, which was, that if they entertained feelings of friendship towards him, they would signify it by giving him their hands. Whereupon an old Chief, named Two Logs, or Bloody Eyes, rose up and addressing the assembly said, it would be perfectly correct for them to manifest friendship to him, especially as he was a stranger, it would but be in conformity to their established rules of hospitality.
They all then gave the proposed mark of friendship; and after making an appointment to preach at Jonathan’s house, they dispersed. Pursuant to appointment, a goodly number met, and Stewart addressed them on the subject of striving”to flee from the wrath to come.”This was in the month of November, 1816. The doctrine of repentance was not well received by Jonathan, (who at this time and afterwards acted as Stewart’s interpreter,) and supposing as he did, that the congregation would be of the same mind, he would sometimes, whilst interpreting, after stating the substance of Stewart’s discourse, add and say,”so he says, I do not know whether it is so or not, nor do I care; all I care about is to interpret faithfully what he says to you; you must not think that I care whether you believe it or not.”From these and such like expressions, it was ascertained that Jonathan, so far from embracing the doctrines taught by Stewart, would not have the Wyandotts even suspect that he took any interest in the matter. Notwithstanding the doubtful manner in which Jonathan spake of
the doctrines, the word was not without its good effects amongst the Wyandotts; for many were soon convinced of their lost and undone condition, and began earnestly to inquire the way of salvation, calling upon God for mercy. Stewart then directed his attention more particularly to the situation of his interpreter, (who was ignorant, wicked and proud,) but without much apparent success for the present.
It was not long however, before Jonathan became a hopeful subject of the gracious work, so that, what was at first done by him partly from a principle of pride and vain glory, now became a pleasant work, from a principle of love and good will towards his fellow beings.
It is true, some of Jonathan’s subsequent conduct has been such as to cause some of his acquaintances to doubt the reality of his conversion; yet perhaps it is but justly due to him, to suppose that he has been at least in some degree under gracious influence. It was not long before some difficulties occurred; yet no serious injury was done to the
good work. A few white traders who had been permitted by the Officers of the Indian department to settle amongst and trade with the Indians, having heard Stewart preach, either from a real suspicion which they entertained that he was a runaway slave and an imposter, or from malicious principles, advised the Indians to drive him out the country; stating that he was not a licensed preacher; but a runaway slave, a villain, &c. and that he had only come among them for protection. This was readily believed by many, and produced some dissatisfaction amongst the Wyandotts. His usefulness amongst them was now in a fair way to be much abridged; for although the advice of the traders was not actually carried into effect by the Chiefs; yet their disposition towards him was visibly changed. Finding himself thus situated, he appeared before Mr. Walker, the sub-agent, and informed him of the dissatisfaction of the Indians with regard to him, occasioned by the misrepresentations of those traders, and that he feared the Chiefs would, under their advice, drive him out of their country. Mr.
Walker informed him, that that was his prerogative, and that he need give himself no uneasiness from that quarter; and moreover, advised him to pay no attention to what those traders might say, but to go on and preach the Gospel faithfully, and that if the Indians should in future, manifest any dissatisfaction on account of his continuance amongst them, to refer them to him, and he would satisfy them, and stand between him and all harm, whilst he should continue to demean himself in a christian-like manner.
Having received such assurances of patronage and protection from a competent source, he departed much encouraged, and resolved through grace, to be more than ever devoted to the good work, to which he had been called. During this time of trial, Jonathan remained faithful to his friend. A principal part of those people, having been members of the Roman Catholic Church, and partially instructed in those doctrines, Stewart had many difficulties to encounter whilst endeavouring to convince them of the impropriety of worshipping the Virgin Mary, Saints
and Angels. Many being under a deep concern on account of their souls, would come to the place of worship with their long neglected Rosaries suspended around their necks, and in time of public prayer, would repeat their almost forgotten Romish forms with much apparent sincerity and engagedness. They also began to re-learn their old Romish hymns, many of which had been neglected and forgotten. Finding that Stewart taught doctrines so different from those which they had learned from the Romish Priest, they concluded that he did not preach from a genuine Bible, or at least that there must be a discrepancy between his Bible and that used by the Priests, and that consequently it must be wrong for them to bear or encourage him, as the doctrines taught by him was heresy.– These and such like notions were put into circulation by those of the Wyandotts, who were then regular members of the Roman Catholic Church, which had considerable influence on the minds of many, who at this time were under awakenings. A difference of opinion however, prevailed amongst them;
while some said he was a good man, others said nay, he teacheth a new and false doctrine, and therefore cannot be a good man.
Some of the principal men went to Mr. Walker, the sub-agent, for the purpose of hearing his opinion concerning this man and his doctrines, and whether his Bible was really the word of God. He without hesitancy gave them his opinion, and endeavoured to remove from their minds their groundless fears. In order the more effectually to accomplish this, he appointed a day when he would summon Stewart to appear before him, for the purpose of examining his books in their presence. Accordingly on the day appointed Stewart appeared before Mr. Walker and the Chiefs, bringing with him his books. Many also who had embraced the new religion attended, feeling a deep interest in the decision of the Agent. While he was examining Stewart’s Bible and Hymn book, a profound silence prevailed. The poor Christian prosolytes gazed with deep anxiety on the examiner, to whom it was referred to decide the important question, whilst the
enemies of the cause were not less anxious. At length, Mr. Walker having closed the examination called the attention of the assembly: all was attention. He informed them that he had carefully examined Stewart’s Bible, and found it to be, as he believed the word of God, and that it most certainly was, the same kind of those used by the Roman Priests, with only this difference, that those were in Latin, and Stewart’s was English. And as For Stewart’s Hymn book, he said the hymns and spiritual songs it contained were certainly good, that the subjects were taken from the Bible and breathed the Spirit of religion.– He therefore pronounced the Bible and Hymn book to be genuine and good. A visible change appeared in the very countenances of the Christian part of the assembly. New spirits appeared to enliven their hearts, and joy to spring up in their souls on account of the decision in favour of the books. All this time our sable Missionary set calm and tranquil, eyeing the assembly most affectionately. The next objection raised against him, was, that he had no written permission to preach.
This difficulty was obviated by Mr. Walker, by asking them whether they knew of his having performed the rite of matrimony or baptism; they answered that they did not. He then informed them that he thought there was no violation of law; and until it could be proven that he had performed the marriage ceremony, or baptized, no valid objection could be brought against him for endeavouring to persuade sinners to serve God and save their souls; for, said he,”any man has a right to talk about religion, and try to get others to embrace it.”He then dismissed the assembly, and when they departed, like the Jews of Rome,”they had great reasoning amongst themselves.”
We shall here take occasion to notice some of the dialogues which took place during the first winter of this mission, as well as bring into view some of the leading characters, who were active, either for or against the cause; as the arguments on different subjects, used on both sides of the question, will, it is believed, be somewhat interesting to the reader. We shall, however, first state that after the
decision above mentioned, nothing worthy of notice took place for some time, except that Stewart continued, without interruption, to teach the way of eternal life, to a quite serious and attentive congregation. All this time, however, he had left untouched their absurd notions respecting the powers of magicians, witches, feasts, dances, and many other ridiculous ceremonies, which had been handed down to them by their ancestors, from generation to generation. Many, although awakened to a sense of their lost estate, were so attached to their old customs and modes of worship, that they found it hard to renounce them, although they were seriously told that if they wished to become the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, they must abandon them all, and cast themselves on him as their only and last refuge.
At a certain meeting, Stewart, in the course of his sermon, made some pointed remarks against their old system of heathenism, and added, that instead of their mode of worship being pleasing to the Lord, it was on the contrary, displeasing to him, and that although
in the time of their ignorance, God winked at their conduct; yet now, the gospel having reached them, and in such a manner as to be understood, by them, they were all required to repent. At the close of this discourse, he informed the congregation that if any one present had any objection to his doctrines, they were then at liberty to speak. Whereupon, John Hicks, one of the chiefs, arose and spoke as follows,”My friend, as you have given liberty to any one who had objections to the doctrines you teach and endeavour to maintain, to speak on the subject, and state their objections; I, for one, feel myself called upon to rise in defence of the religion of my fathers;–a system of religion the Great Spirit has given his red children, as their guide and the rule of their faith, and we are not going to abandon it so soon as you might wish; we are contented with it, because it suits our conditions and is adapted to our capacities. Cast your eyes abroad over the world, and see how many different systems of religion there are in it–there are almost as many different systems as there are nations
–say this is not the work of the Lord. No, my friend, your declaiming so violently against our modes of worshipping the Great Spirit, is, in my opinion, not calculated to benefit us as a nation; we are willing to receive good advice from you, but we are not willing to have the customs and institutions which have been kept sacred by our Fathers, thus assailed and abused.”
Whereupon, Manoncue, another chief, arose and said,”I also have a few words to say in addition to what my friend has said, who has just taken his seat. I do not doubt but what you state faithfully what your book says; but let me correct an error into which you appear to have run, and that is, your belief that the Great Spirit designed that his red children should be instructed out of it. This is a mistake, the Great Spirit never designed this to be the case; he never intended that they should be instructed out of a book, a thing which properly belongs to those who made it and can understand what it says; it is a plant that cannot grow and flourish among red people. Let me call your attention to another
important fact.–Where did the Son of God first make his appearance? According to your book he first made his appearance away in the East, among the white people, and we never heard of his name until white people themselves told us. And what if we had never seen a white man? we never would have heard of this new doctrine. The Son of God came among the white people and preached to them, and left his words written in a book, that they when he was gone, might read and learn his will concerning them; but he left no book for Indians, and why should he, seeing we red people know nothing about books? If it had been the will of the Great Spirit that we should be instructed out of this book he would have provided some way for us to understand the art of making and reading the books that contain his words. Ours is a religion that suits us red people, and we intend to keep and preserve it sacred among us, believing that the Great Spirit gave it to our grand-fathers in ancient days.”Stewart replied that it was stated in this book, that the Son of God, before he ascended into Heaven
commanded his disciples, to”go into all the world, and preach the gospel unto every creature;” saying at the same time, that [“]he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not, shall be damned.”And in another place it is said,”and this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come.”He added, further, that this did not mean to all nations of white people only, but to all nations composed of human beings, including whites, Indians and Africans, that all had share in the salvation which was purchased by the Son of God. Addressing himself particularly to the Wyandotts, he said “you certainly consider yourselves a nation composed of human beings; if so, then you may rest assured that this gospel will be preached not only to you, but to all nations of Indians; and not only Indians, but to all nations under the Heavens, before the end of the world shall come. And now my dear friends, only consider what an awful curse is pronounced upon those who reject this peaceful gospel–who will not hear and believe it,
but coldly turn from the loving offers of the Son of God. You have heard that he has said,”whosoever believeth not shall be damned.” Awful curse! O my friends, think well before you determine to reject this gospel, for if you do reject it, rest assured the curse will fall upon you, especially upon you chiefs, who have so great an influence ever your people; lead them not to destruction, I entreat you!” Having concluded his reply, the assembly was dismissed.–Manoncue came to Hicks privately and said,”my friend, I begin to feel somewhat inclined to abandon a good many of our Indian customs, but I cannot agree to give up painting my face; this I think would be wrong, inasmuch as ceasing to paint will be jeopardizing my health.” (it being a received opinion among them that painting the face had a magic power in keeping off diseases.) Hicks replied,”you can do as you please, my friend, in this matter; for my own part, I have strange feelings about this business, I hardly know what to do.”These two chiefs were not Roman Catholics, but entirely untutored Indians, and
indeed those who were members of that church were little better in point of religious information. At almost every meeting there was less or more disputing between Stewart and some of the principal men of the nation; especially after he commenced speaking against their feasts, dances, &c. as being sinful in the sight of God. Notwithstanding their disputings, many of the awakened persons still continued to walk orderly, and to seek the pearl of great price. A part of those awakened persons were members of the Roman Catholic church, and had strong predilections in favour of her doctrines and ceremonies; it is not, therefore, wonderful that it was with some difficulty they were brought fully to acquiesce in all the doctrines taught by Stewart. While under the influence of their former principles, they as often in their devotions, prayed to the Virgin Mary as to God; they also used prayers for the deliverance of their departed friends from purgatory, crossing themselves when at prayer, keeping a multiplicity of holy days, and performing pilgrimages once a year to St. Ann’s Church, in
Sandwich, in the province of Upper Canada, for the purpose of obtaining from the priest the pardon of their sins. These and many other absurd notions which many believed in, were hard to remove. On a certain occasion, while preaching to them and endeavouring to convince the Romish part of his congregation of the many errors in which they believed, he said,”as for your worshipping the Virgin Mary, let me tell you that it is contrary to God’s commandments, for he hath commanded his people, that they should ‘have none other gods before him;’ now all who worship the Virgin Mary, saints and angels, violate this commandment; and there is nothing in the New Testament, commanding us to worship the Virgin, or any other saint or angel: the Virgin ought no more to be worshipped than any other good person who has found favour with God, and died and gone to Heaven.” This was like an electric shock to many of them; they looked with amazement on each other, considering the conclusion as nothing less than blasphemy. After the congregation was dismissed, many of them were seen
standing about in groups, talking very earnestly, while others,”gallio-like, cared for none of these things;”being neither Romans nor any thing else, but sons of folly and dissipation, and cared not whether their people worshipped God, the Virgin, or the devil, taking no further interest in the meetings than, as they said, to”hear the preacher sing, and to see and be seen.”Stewart possessed a very fine shrill and melodious voice for singing, and delighted much in that part of worship, and Indians being naturally fond of music and company, it will not appear strange that the council-house (the place of preaching) should be filled every Sabbath day.
One thing is here worthy of remark, and that is, that not a single instance occurred during the time Stewart laboured among them, of their treating his person with any indignity or violence. Notwithstanding his doctrine was so offensive to many of them, yet in his intercourse with them, he was always treated in a friendly and decorous manner. He was hospitably entertained among them, until he returned to Marietta. No such scenes of
abuse, persecution, cruelty and barbarity were witnessed, as took place at the time of the rise of Methodism in England, it being a maxim among the Indians, never to treat a stranger who comes among them with disrespect of indignity. Truly, a good maxim!
As yet there did not appear to be any who evidenced a genuine conversion, though many appeared to be really hopeful penitents, and mourning for”errors past.”There being no preacher among them, who was authorised to form them into Society, and thereby, in some degree, cause them”to come out from among the wicked,”it will not be surprising to the reader, when he is informed that many grew weary in well doing, fainted by the way, and relapsed into a cold, careless, and indifferent state of mind.
At a meeting which took place, it is believed, on the third Wednesday in February, 1817, he preached a sermon, in the concluding part of which he entered into a description of the day of Judgment, and in a most alarming manner warned them that they as well as all the rest of mankind, must be assembled before
the Great Judge, to give an account of their conduct.”And there, my friends,”said he, “I shall meet you, and will have to answer for my manner of preaching to you, &c.” The whole assembly appeared to be absorbed in serious thought. Alarm appeared evidently to be depicted in every countenance. Another meeting was appointed to be held at the same place, at early candle-light, and the congregation was then dismissed. Accordingly at the appointed hour, Stewart came and found a few assembled. He then began to sing, and in a short time the people began to assemble, and in a few minutes the house was pretty well filled; he then rose up and began to exhort, and in the most pathetic manner, entreated them to seek the Lord Jesus as the Saviour of sinners, and escape the impending wrath of an offended God; that now was the day of salvation, and not to neglect the present opportunity. When he concluded, he informed them that it was his intention to endeavour to hold a prayer-meeting, and exhorted those who had resolved to forsake their sins, to come forward and take an active
part in calling upon God for the forgiveness of their sins. A few came forward, principally women, and the exercise commenced; it was not long before some of the idle spectators were struck to the ground, to all appearance dead, and in a few minutes there were many slain, some lay crying for mercy, while others appeared to have no life in them. This extraordinary occurrence spread a general alarm in the congregation: some said he used some powerful medicine, which, when inhaled, would take the senses away, others said, not so; some ran after water for the purpose of resuscitating the apparently dead people; some cried out to Jonathan, the interpreter, to desist from singing those new songs, and to sing the Roman Catholic hymns, or they would all die. Thereupon, an old woman (aged about sixty years,) sprang up, having found the pearl of great price, began to clap her hands and rejoice with great joy, and went through all the crowd, proclaiming that God, for Jesus’ sake, had forgiven all her sins, and added, that what the preacher said, was all true. Seeing her act and hearing
her talk in a manner she never before had been known to do, they concluded, she undoubtedly was in a state of mental derangement. Stewart perceiving the consternation of the people, advised them to give themselves no uneasiness about the lives of those persons who were, as they supposed, dying or insane; he added further,”they are not dying, neither are they insane, as you suppose; though some of them, I trust, are dying to sin and struggling into a life of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost;”and added, yet further, that he, would be accountable for all the lives that should be lost, or any harm done to their persons. None, however, were converted at this meeting, except the old woman above-mentioned, who is yet a living witness of the power of God to save from sin; but many went away under a deep concern of soul. Although this meeting was continued until nearly midnight, John Hicks and Manoncue sat all the time as silent spectators, looking on with amazement, not uttering a word for or against this apparently disorderly meeting. In a few days a great dance
was to be held at the council-house, for the purpose, as they said, of shewing the preacher the way and manner they worshipped the Great Spirit:–time rolled on, and the day arrived when the great festival was to take place; during this time the young men had been out hunting for deer, bear, &c. to be served up at the grand entertainment; they returned with horse-loads of venison and bear-meat. Suitable persons were appointed to manage the preparations, &c. On the day appointed a large number of people, young and old, male and female, were assembled; a formal invitation was sent to Stewart, requiring his presence on the occasion. He came, accompanied by Jonathan, his constant interpreter; a chief then arose and informed the assembly of the manner and order in which the feast and dance were to be conducted. Stewart sat witnessing this singular worship or thanksgiving; the preparatory ceremonies being finished, the music was struck up, and the person appointed to lead the dance proceeded to the ring formed in the great council-house, and raised three
tremendous yells, (which at first startled Stewart) and commenced dancing; then another arose and joined in, then another, until quite a lengthy column was formed, they kept moving around following the ring; in a few minutes the women began to file in, old and young; but what was Stewart’s astonishment, when he beheld some mingling the dance, who, as he supposed, were true mourners in Zion, who had renounced the vanities of the world; alas! thought he, unpromising converts indeed. Although thus joining in the dance, did not seem to comport with the profession of religion, yet, in the mind of one acquainted with those people, it would not militate so much against their sincerity, knowing how difficult it was to convince them that there was evil in the customs, which amongst them had from time out of mind been held sacred. While this dance was going on, many of the young men, as they were passing around opposite where Stewart sat, would endeavour to display their superior activity and agility in dancing, cutting the most ludicrous figures imaginable; sometimes with the head thrown on one
shoulder and the eyes shut–sometimes the head thrown back so that there appeared to be some danger of a dislocation of the neck bone; all this time the feet were in motion, keeping time with the music. Sometimes they would bend so far forward that the forehead would almost touch the ground, with the hands placed on the hips, the arms a-kimbo, and the body in a perfect shiver, and all this accompanied with the most horrid yells imaginable. In short, of all the twistings, writhings and contortions, of which a human body is capable, none were left untried; so antic were their motions and gesticulations, that they were enough, in despite of gravity, to draw forth a burst of laughter from the spectator. At three o’clock, P. M. the dancing ceased; the next was a distribution of the food prepared for the occasion: persons had been previously appointed to attend to this business, so that it was not long before each person had as much food place before him as he could well dispose of. The repast went on with much mirth and good feeling, and in a short time the chiefs dismissed the assembly, and
they parted much gratified with the pleasure they had experienced on that occasion. Not withstanding the willingness which Manoncue had sometime before expressed, to forsake and abandon all his Indian customs except that of painting his face, yet he could not refrain from joining in the dance; it was too fascinating for so great a lover of pleasure to resist.
No certain information can now be obtained respecting what was said or done on the next Sabbath day, except that Stewart preached to them as usual. The next thing worthy of remark is, his taking leave of them; it appears he had not given up his intention of following his connexions to the state of Tennessee; he accordingly prepared to return to Marietta, from thence intending to proceed as above. On Sabbath day he delivered his farewell discourse, it is believed, from Acts, xx ch. and 32 verse; a large and serious congregation was assembled. In the course of his sermon, he began again to enforce the necessity of a total abandonment of their heathenish customs and notions, as destructive to the spirit
of that religion which could qualify them for a happy life and triumphant death.”For” said he,”I have faithfully warned you that your feasts, dances, sacrifices, &c. will never save you from your sins, and if you are never saved from your sins, where God is, you never can come; your mode of worship is not pleasing to God, but displeasing, especially since you have become better informed; God will never hear your petitions while you harbour an attachment to those customs; for it is said in the word of God, ‘if I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.’ My friends, I have spent nearly three months with endeavouring, in my feeble and imperfect manner, to teach you the way of eternal life–I have been instant, in season and out of season–I have prayed and wept for you–have preached and exhorted you to escape from the dreadful tempest that is coming, when the wrath And indignation of the Majesty of Heaven, will be revealed in the punishment and destruction of all who will not obey the gospel; and O my God! is this all to be in vain? Must I depart and leave
you as I found you, careless, wicked and ungodly? God forbid it! Ye know, from the first day I came into Sandusky, after what manner I have been with you in all seasons, serving the Lord with all humility of mind, with many tears and temptations which befel me; and how I kept back nothing that was as profitable unto you, but have shewed you and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to you Wyandotts and also to the whites, repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.–Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from your blood; I feel now that I have discharged my duty to you; God sent me here to warn you to flee the wrath to come, and I have done so; but, Lord, who hath believed the report? He then directed his discourse to the believing part of the congregation, and in a feeling and pathetic manner exhorted them to faithfulness. In conclusion, he said,”now my friends, I expect you will see my face no more, for I must go; I shall meet you all at the flaming bar of God; and my friends, for your kindness to me since I came among you,
I take this opportunity of expressing my gratitude to you; God will reward you; for he hath said,”whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones, a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, shall not lose his reward.” He then addressed himself to the chiefs and principal men of the nation in a few words, and concluded. During the sermon, a dead silence reigned, except the weeping and sobbing which was heard in all directions of the house. He then began to sing,–
“Farewell, dear friends, I must be gone,
“I have no home, or stay with you;”
And as he sung, proceeded around among the people, taking each by the hand; many understanding some English, it had so great an effect upon them, that fortitude completely forsook them: even his most violent opposers were constrained to drop a tear, on his bidding them adieu; it was a sore trial to Stewart himself. Having gone through the congregation and come to the door, he stopped, paused, and cast an affectionate and compassionate look upon them and went out. Some followed him and requested that he would stay until the
next day, as they wished to have an interview with him before he departed; to this he consented. The people dispersed, and at the proposed interview, some, indeed all his friends insisted upon his abandoning the idea of going away, but to remain among them. He informed them that he was under the necessity of going, if he had to return again; they then insisted on his returning; to this he at length agreed, but said he was poor and would be obliged to stop at the first town he should come to, and work for some money to bear his expenses to Marietta, and of course he could not promise to return sooner than the last week in June or the first of July.– With this promise they were satisfied. At the suggestion of Mrs. Warpole, (of whom we shall have occasion to speak hereafter,) a collection was made in the village amounting to ten dollars, for the purpose of bearing his expenses and hastening his return: he then departed. The Indians all made preparations and went to their sugar camps, as the sugar making season had come on. Situated as they were, it was difficult to determine who
were Christians and who were not, for the righteous and unrighteous were all mixed together. Deprived as they were of the ordinances of God’s house, such as baptism, the Lord’s supper, marriage, &c. and not having the advantages of class-meetings, discipline, &c. were causes of the work not appearing so flattering as it otherwise might. Many, no doubt, were under deep convictions, and groaning for deliverance from their burden of guilt, who, for the want of proper care and nursing in the bosom of the church, afterwards became discouraged, grew cold, and finally gave it up.
They were a very intemperate people, so much so, that on actual investigation, not twenty really sober men could be found in the whole nation, which consisted of about seven hundred, young and old. Stewart’s preaching produced a reformation in regard to this particular vice; drunkenness seemed to have flown from their borders, and many other vicious practices were abandoned: in short, a degree of amendment was visible in the whole neighbourhood–their feasts, dances,
sacrifices, &c. they could not yet consent to abandon, so completely were they established in the belief that they were instituted by their Creator as their mode of worship; (this was not, however, the case with all Wyandotts, some did not believe so, having been better informed from infancy.) Nothing worthy of remark took place, until their return from their sugar camps to the village; some wicked and designing white men informed some of them that Stewart’s master had come out from the state of Virginia to Ohio in pursuit of him, had found and taken him, and carried him back to Virginia in irons. This piece of information was credited by some and by others it was not; however, it created considerable uneasiness among his friends.– Nothing was heard from him until about the second week in June, when a letter was received from him by Mr. Walker, enclosing a written sermon or address, which he requested Mr. Walker should cause to be read to the Wyandotts on a Sabbath day in their own tongue. This was done on the Sabbath following, to a large congregation, many of whom
were truly glad to hear from him, and particularly to learn that the above report was false. The letter to Mr. Walker above-mentioned, was in the words following, to wit:
“Marietta, (O.) May 25th, 1817.
WILLIAM WALKER, Esq.
Sir, I have taken the liberty of enclosing to your care the within written address, directed to the Wyandott nation, for their information and edification, hoping that it will (through the blessing of God,) impress on their minds, religious and moral sentiments. I have taken the liberty to address it to you, hoping that you will have the goodness to read it, or cause it to be read in their hearing, and in their own language, that they may understand its true meaning; and moreover, that you will try to impress on their minds the necessity of adhering strictly to the laws of God– that their hearts should be constantly set upon the Supreme Being who created them; and that it is their duty to raise their voices in praising, adoring, and loving that Jesus, who has suffered and died for them, as well as for
those who are more enlightened. Inform them that although their brother is far from them in body, yet his anxiety for their safety and future happiness is very great; in doing this you will confer a favour upon me which I shall ever remember with gratitude. My engagements you no doubt recollect, were, that I should return about the last week in June, but owing to misfortunes and disappointments to which we are all liable, together with a wound I accidentally received on my leg, will prevent my having the pleasure of seeing or being with you until the middle of July; at which time I hope, by the grace of God, to have the pleasure of seeing you and the Wyandott people generally. At that time I shall not fail to offer verbally, my gratitude to you and your dear family, for the services you and they have rendered me.
May I ask you to have the goodness to write to me? and please inform me of the general state of those persons that have reformed since I first went among them, and how many have evidenced a change since I came away, and whether they continue to
conduct themselves with that sincerity of heart, that would be acceptable in the eyes of God; finally, whether they appear as anxious for my return, as they appeared to be for my stay when I was coming away. In attending to these requests of mine, you will confer an obligation which will be ever remembered, with every mark of gratitude and respect.
I remain your humble servant, and in every instance sincerely hope, not only to meet with your approbation, but that also of my God.
“My dear and beloved Friends:
I, your brother traveller to eternity, by the grace and mercy of God, am blessed with this opportunity of writing to you; although I be far distant from you in body, yet my mind is oft times upon you. I pray you to be watchful that the enemy of souls do not ensnare you; pray to the Lord both day and night with a sincere heart, and he will uphold
you in all your trials and troubles. The words that I shall take as a standard to try to encourage you from, may be found in the 5th chapter of Matthew, 6th verse, ‘Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.’These words were spoken by our Saviour Jesus Christ, and they are firm and sure; for his words are more firm than the heavens or the earth. Likewise the promise appears to be permanent; it does not say it may be, or perhaps, so as to leave it doubtful; but, ‘they shall be filled.’ This man, Jesus Christ, spake like one who possessed power to fill and satisfy the hungering soul, and we have no reason to dispute his ability to do so; knowing that he made all things that are made, and made man for his service, then we are bound to believe that he is a Being of all power, able to fulfil all his promises to all mankind. Though he made us for his service we have all gone astray into the forbidden paths of sin and folly; therefore the promise appears to be held out to a particular class of people, who, happy are they, if they and themselves in this hungering and
thirsting after the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the first place, my friends, I shall endeavour to shew you who it is that this gracious promise is made to, or how it is that we have a right to this promise; according to the light the Lord has given me, it is not him that is living in open rebellion against God, and going contrary to his commands– that closes his eyes against the light–that is barring the door of his heart against the striving of the blessed Spirit, that is continually admonishing him to forsake the ways of sin, and turn and seek the salvation of his soul; it is that man or woman who has called upon that God that hears sinners pray, and who will have mercy upon such as will call upon him with sincerity of heart, really desiring to receive and believing that he is able to give you. The Lord by his goodness will begin to take off the veil that the enemy has veiled you with, then you begin to see how thou hast strayed from the right way, this causes the sinner to be more and more engaged: this good and great Saviour, who sees and knows the secrets of every heart, seeing the poor
soul willing to forsake the service of the devil, moves nearer and. nearer to the sinner, his glorious light shines into his heart, he gives him to see the pool of crime that he has committed against the Blessed Saviour who hung on the tree for the sins of the world; this makes him mourn and grieve over his sins, and calling on the mighty Saviour, as his last, his best refuge, for help; finding that there is no help in and of himself, seeing that all he has done is nothing, this causes the soul to try to make his last prayer, crying’Lord save, or I perish;’ thou wouldst be just in sending me to destruction, but Lord save, for Christ’s sake; Lord, I have done all I can do, take me, do thy will with me, for thou knowest better what to do with me than I can desire. This blessed Saviour shews his face with ten thousand smiles–lays his hand to the work–breaks the snares of sin–unlooses him from the fetters and chains of unbelief– sets the soul at liberty–puts a new song in his mouth–makes the soul rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory; it is then he desires to go to his friend who has done so
much for him, and leave this troublesome world; but the soul has to stay until it has done its duty on earth, which will not be long. After a few more rolling suns of this life, the tempter begins to tempt him; the world, the flesh and the devil all unite, the poor soul begins to mourn and grieve, because he cannot do as he would wish; when he would do good, evil is present; then it is the soul begins to hunger and thirst after righteousness. My friends, be glad and rejoice in the Lord, for this promise is to you and to all mankind; yes, they shall be filled with water issuing from the throne of God. O, my friends, pray to God to give you a hungering and thirsting after righteousness! seek for it and you shall find it, for you shall reap in due season if you faint not. If you persevere in the way of well doing, you will find in your path clusters of sweet fruits, that will satisfy your hungering souls, and being faithful to your Lord’s commands, when you have made your way through much tribulation, and lie down on your dying bed, you will be filled with the glorious prospect of the reward that awaits
you; guardian angels wait around your bed, to bear your soul away to those bright worlds of everlasting day, where the friend of poor sinners reigns. This fills the soul with the sweets of love divine, this methinks, will make the dying bed of the man or woman,’soft as downy pillows are.” Therefore, my friends, if you hold out faithful, you will have part in the first resurrection; then it will be that you will see your Lord and master face to face; then it will be that you will hear that blessed sentence’Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’Then shall you sit down with the people of God in that kingdom, where your Saviour with his soft hand will wipe all tears from your eyes. There you shall see and be with him, and praise him to all eternity. Having, after a broken and imperfect manner, my friends, shewn you the characters of those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, I shall endeavour to say a few words to that class of people, who I, in the foregoing part of my discourse said, had no part in the promise. A few words of
consolation to the sinner; that is, the Lord is willing to save all who will call upon him with a sincere heart, at the same time having determined to forsake all sin, and to seek the salvation of their souls. Now, my friends, you who have been at war against this great friend of sinners, now turn, for behold now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation. Take into consideration, realize how long the Lord has spared your lives, and all this time you have been resisting his holy and blessed Spirit–this Spirit the Lord has sent to warn you, and entreat you to turn to the Lord; But oh! my friends, how often have you thrusted that good spirit away, and forced it to depart from you! Let me inform you, if you continue to resist this good spirit, it will after a while leave you, never more to return; for God hath said,’my spirit shall not always strive with man.’Therefore, my friends, though you have caused the spirit to go away grieved, now begin to encourage and attend to its admonitions; he that receives it and obeys its directions, receives Christ, and at the same time receives God the Father. My
friends, if you will not adhere to the Lord’s Spirit, neither to the entreaties of your friend, the time draws on when you will wish you had spent this glorious opportunity the Lord has given you, in preparing to meet Him who is to judge the world. Then it will be you will have to hear and abide by that dreadful sentence’Depart ye cursed–ye workers of iniquity, for I never knew you.’Oh! My friends, consider you must go into fire prepared for the devil and his angels, where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched. Some of you may put off this and think it is a long time yet before it comes to pass; but consider, if the Lord does not call you by judgment, death is always near, and he taking off our friends both on our right and on our left hands. Ah! we must all, sooner or later, be called to lie on a sick bed, when no physician can effect a cure, when death–cold and dreary death will lay hold on us; then will we have a view of awful eternity, and if unprepared, horror will seize upon the soul, while our friends wait around our bed, to see us bid the world adieu. Oh! what anguish
will tear the soul of the sinner! What bitter lamentations will then be made for mis-spent opportunities, slighted mercies! O! that I had spent my time more to the Lord! Then you will say, farewell my friends, I have got to go, for devils are waiting round my bed, to drag my soul away to hell. Then will you remember how often you grieved the good Spirit of the Lord, how often you drove it from you, but too late, you must go to endure the horrors of everlasting burnings. Then, my friends, accept of my feeble advice; bear constantly in mind the necessity of obtaining this blessed promise, and ever let your hearts and conduct be guided by the directions of that blessed Saviour who died for you, that you might live. You who have set out in the way of well doing, be faithful unto death, and you will be conveyed by angels to Abraham’s bosom, and there meet the sweet salutation, of’well done good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’And may God bless you and keep you in the path of righteousness, until he shall see fit to close your eyes in death. Now may the blessing, &c.
At the time set by him for his return, he arrived at Sandusky. On his arrival, he learned with much sorrow and regret, that a young man of an amiable disposition, whom he sincerely loved, and who once bid fair to become a pious and useful man, (for when Stewart left Sandusky, he appeared to be much engaged in seeking the salvation of his soul) had been murdered in a drunken frolic. Poor young man, lost all his good desires and fell into the snare of the devil. Stewart now without delay, went about seeking those he left in the service of the Lord. Some had turned back to the beggarly elements of the world–some remained faithful. He immediately commenced preaching as he had formerly done. He now found many Wyandotts whom he had not seen when he was first among them, (they having been out hunting,) and of course his preaching was a new thing to them. It was not long before a violent opposition was raised by some of the principal men of the nation against the progress of this new religion. Many arguments were used by those in the opposition, to prevent
the success of Stewart’s ministry. The principal leaders of this opposition were Manoncue, and Two Logs, or Bloody Eyes, both Chiefs in the nation. They represented in glowing colours, the great and many evils and calamities that would befal them as a people or nation, if they abandoned the sacred institutions which the God of the red people had given them as their mode of worshipping him: institutions also designed for their amusement–that they would justly incur the displeasure of the great Spirit by such a step– that the great Spirit designed those institutions to be held sacred among them and kept up forever. They exhorted the people never to entertain the idea of abandoning them, assuring them that while they continued to adhere to the religion of their fathers, they would be on the safe side.
Summer was with them, a season of amusement and great happiness. Feasts, dances, ball-plays, foot-races, horse-races, &c. were their chief delight, and it will not be wondered at, that they should with great reluctance give up the things which afforded them so much
pleasure. Through the course of the summer, dance succeeded dance, and feast succeeded feast, until Autumn admonished them to resume the chase.
Sometime in the month of August, a large number of Wyandotts were collected at a house-raising, and Stewart being present, Two Logs began in a very violent and boisterous manner to declaim against Stewart and his doctrine; a friend of Stewart’s replied in a very spirited manner. This brought on a considerable controversy, in which several took part. Two Logs objected particularly to his preaching against their dancing, feasting, &c. At length Stewart was called upon to defend his doctrines against the formidable attack made by Two Logs. Stewart in a mild and plain manner endeavoured to convince him of the evil tendency of the practices he so warmly advocated, and among other things he stated that a poet had represented a dancing and frolicking part out of the damned, as crying out in their distress and agony, and saying,
“Now Hail! all hail! ye frightful ghosts,
With whom I once did dwell,
And spent my days in frantic mirth,
And danced my soul to hell.”
At this Two Logs raised a great hoarse laugh, and inquired whether the persons who made those bitter lamentations were Indians, and added,”I do not believe the Great Spirit will punish his red children for dancing, feasting, &c. Yet I cannot say that he will not punish white people for doing these things; for to me it looks quite probable the Great Spirit has forbidden these things among the whites, because they are naturally wicked, quarrelsome and contentious; for it is a truth they cannot deny, that they cannot have a dance, a feast, or any public amusement, but some will get drunk, quarrel, fight, or do something wrong. Now, my friend, you have been present at several of our dances and feasts, and did you see any of these bad things going on? No, we have our public amusements in peace and good will to each other, and part in the same manner. Now,
where is the great evil you see?”It is not known what Stewart’s reply was.
Two Logs would sometimes tell the people, it was really derogatory to their character, to have it said, that they had a Negro for their preacher, as that race of people was always considered inferior to Indians.”The Great Spirit,” said he,”never created Negroes, they were created by the Evil Spirit.”When assembled at the place”where prayer was wont to be made”and a sermon preached, either Mononcue or Two Logs were sure to rise up, and refute (as they thought) the sermon. A great stir took place in consequence of some person, who, it is said, had seen a vision. This person related it to several of the principal men. It was as follows: On a certain day while Stewart was preaching in the Council-House, she rose up, went out and proceeded to a vacant house a short distance off, and when she came near, she found a man standing by the corner of the house, looking-towards the Council House. He spoke to her and requested her to stop, which she did. He then informed her that he was
the God of the red people; that he had come to warn his people personally against embracing the religion of the white people, which, if they did receive, would bring on them and their children dreadful calamities: it would be the means of destroying them as a nation. That man (meaning Stewart) though here under the specious pretence of trying to make the red people religious, according to the white man’s religion, is here in reality for the purpose of doing you a great injury, which you cannot and will not see, until the evil itself comes upon you; and added that the only way to avoid the impending destruction was, not to listen to his preaching; but to go on and live as they had lived; and then vanished. It appears this Deity did not see proper to inform her what the evil was which Stewart really intended to bring upon the nation. This report soon noised abroad: some believed; but many did not. Stewart being informed of it, he immediately went to visit this woman, for the express purpose of hearing her relate her vision. She very readily complied, and stated what she had seen and heard. He informed her that he did not
believe her, as there was no such being as a distinct God for Indians–that there was but one God, and he created White, Red and Black people. He then made some inquiry concerning the woman’s character for truth and veracity, and found that it was not very good. Notwithstanding her character for truth was doubtful, yet those persons who were opposed to Stewart’s preaching made use of her vision to further their purposes.
Many were the visions, revelations prophecies, &c. which were sounded about the whole neighbourhood: all appearing to aim at the destruction of Stewart’s preaching. A report was raised by some of the opposition, and industriously circulated among the people, that many years before the white people discovered this continent, one of the old Wyandott Prophets prophesied that it would come to pass, when an entire new race of people should come across the great water and overspread the whole continent, the red people should not be able to oppose them–that by degrees the Indians would disappear, their territorial bounds become very much
circumscribed–each nation would be confined to small spots of land; but this would not be the end; the next thing would be, a man of a black skin would come among them, who, though under the semblance of friendship, would effect, ultimately, their entire overthrow and destruction; and that the only way for them to escape was, not to countenance him or give him any encouragement, nor listen to any thing he might say, &c. Jonathan’s influence in the nation was but little, in consequence of his former bad character; for all knew him to have been too much given to telling of falsehoods; this circumstance placed Stewart in an unpleasant situation, and was much against his success in his work. Some said that Jonathan while interpreting would say more than Stewart said, and would narrow down his discourses to suit his own views and feelings.
Nothing remarkable transpired during this summer. Stewart continued preaching.– Those who professed to believe in the Christain religion still appeared to manifest good desires, but took no active part either way.
In the month of August, A. D. 1817, a treaty was called by the Commissioners on part of the general Government, to be held at Fort Meigs with the Wyandotts and other nations of Indians, for the purpose of purchasing their lands. A general attendance was requested. While preparations were making to attend the treaty, Stewart deemed it advisable to return to Marietta, and remain there until winter. Nearly the whole nation went, leaving but a few individuals to take charge of their houses, cornfields, &c. As the most of the facts related in this little work have been hastily collected from the recollection of individuals, it has so happened that no information has been furnished relative to Stewart, or his labour among the Wyandotts, from the time of his leaving the nation to go to Marietta, as above stated, until the latter part of the year 1818. At that time he had to encounter difficulties, which, although they were not altogether of a new character, yet as they proceeded from a new and unexpected source, they were of a truly disagreeable and painful nature. Certain Missionaries
in travelling to the North called with the Wyandotts, among whom Stewart was labouring, and spent a short time in preaching to them. On ascertaining how remarkably useful Stewart’s labours had been in bringing the Indians to the knowledge of the truth, and how highly he was esteemed by most of them; they proposed to him to receive him as a member of their church, and to employ him as one of their Missionaries on that station, at a very comfortable salary; but as from a difference in religious opinions from them, he could not accept their offer, he refused; whereupon they demanded the authority by which he was acting as a gospel minister and as a Methodist Missionary. As he possessed no regular authority of this kind, he confessed to them the fact. Through their means, this became known; and was employed by the white traders and the opposing Indians as certain evidence that he was an impostor. This circumstance operated, for awhile, considerably to his disadvantage. He thereupon communicated a knowledge of his truly disagreeable situation to the Quarterly-Meeting
Conference of Mad river circuit, who advised him by letter to continue his labours until measures could be taken to procure for him a regular license as a Preacher of the Gospel, and at the same time gave him assurances of their decided approbation of the course he had pursued. Until now it was unknown in the white settlements that any religious excitement existed among the Indians, or that Stewart was among them, or even that such a man existed. The Quarterly Conference thought it advisable that some person should visit the Indians, to aid the good work which had so prosperously commenced among them; accordingly Moses M. Henkle, a young man of Mad river circuit, who had just entered the ministry, volunteered in this novel and important work. Early in the month of February, A.D[.], 1819, he set out on this missionary tour, and spent some length of time in labouring among the Wyandotts. At this time there was a mighty out-pouring of the good spirit among them. Many professed to have found the pearl of great price, and many others were inquiring the way to Zion, deeply mourning
their past sins. In short it was believed that the labours of this young man at this time were of great and signal benefit; as his preaching served completely to confirm what Stewart had before taught. Having during the time of his stay at Sandusky had a good opportunity of witnessing Stewart’s deportment, and being fully satisfied of his piety and usefulness, brought away with him a certificate of membership which Stewart had obtained at Marietta, a certificate of his having been there recommended by his class for license to exhort, and also certificates of his character and usefulness, from the time of his first appearing at Sandusky, from several of the chiefs, Mr. Walker, the sub-agent, and from several other persons, at the same time directing Stewart to attend the next Quarterly meeting for Mad river circuit, to be held at Urbana, in the month of March, 1819. At which time and place Stewart attended. He was introduced to the Quarterly Conference, and the papers above mentioned being submitted and examined in open Conference, by Bishop George and the Presiding Elder, Moses
Crume; and the case being fully understood by the Conference, he was regularly licensed to preach the Gospel. The information given by Stewart and M. M. Henkle to this Conference, induced a full conviction in their minds, that the condition of the Wyandotts loudly called for aid. But as it was near six months until the sitting of the Annual Conference, the question was, what could be done (in addition to Stewart’s regular labours) to supply them until the time of Conference? Finally, volunteers were called for. Whereupon, Moses Henkle, senior, Joseph Mitchell, Robert Miller, Samuel Hitt, James Montgomery and Saul Henkle, Local Preachers of Mad river circuit, agreed to supply them with preaching once a month during the time aforesaid; which was done; although one or two of those men could not make it convenient within the time to take their turn. Stewart still continued his regular labours, and was much esteemed, not only by those of the nation to whom he bad been peculiarly useful, but by those brethren above named, who visited Sandusky and were witnesses of
his work of faith and labour of love. It is said, however, that he effected more real good among those people, by visiting from house to house and holding private conferences with them on the subject of religion, than by his more public labours. The difficulties which he had to encounter, while striving to build up the walls of Zion in this once howling wilderness, being almost innumerable, required much Christian fortitude and patience. Under all his trials he gave satisfactory evidence that he had, in a good degree, learned of Jesus to be meek and lowly in heart. Scarcely a week at a time passed, but some report or other calculated and intended to injure his usefulness among those people was put in circulation, and principally by wicked and designing white men. Notwithstanding all these things, he still retained his deserved share of the confidence and esteem of many of the Wyandotts. As a proof of this, sometime after the Treaty at Fort Meigs, a number of the Wyandott people made application to the chiefs, for liberty to settle Stewart permanently on the section of land,
in the centre of their reservation, which was, by the provisions of the treaty, set apart for the support of a Missionary. To this the chiefs did not feel themselves at liberty to consent; but said they were willing he should stay on it until the Missionary provided for in the treaty should come and enter upon his duties, and thereupon adopted him into the nation, and divided with him their annuities. About the time, or soon after the visit of young M. Henkle, an aged woman and one of Stewart’s constant hearers, died a witness of the reality of the religion which he was constantly striving to promote among them. She was of a family of Wyandotts who were very much attached to their heathenish customs, and violently opposed to the”white man’s religion,”as they called it. She attentively listened to Stewart’s preaching, and for some time was in great doubts how to decide or what step to take. Being an earnest inquirer after truth, she for some time”halted between two opinions.”At length, having consulted some of the Christian Wyandotts, who gave her great encouragment,
she openly renounced all her heathenish customs, and sought diligently the pearl of great price. Her younger brother, Frost, who pretended to be a necromancer, was greatly enraged when he learned that his sister had embraced the religion taught by the”Hesent see”* preacher, and in a most furious manner, threatened to take the preacher’s life by means of the supernatural power which he possessed. He used many means to prevail on her to abjure Christianity, but all in vain; he pursued her with his arguments and his threats, but she was inflexible; she defended her religion by solid arguments which he was unable to answer; he then left her house, declaring that he would never again enter it. It is believed he kept his word, for sometime afterwards, while out on a hunting tour, he was killed in a drunken frolic by one of his own party. This woman continued faithful to the good cause of religion until she was called home to her reward.
Since we have given place to biography,
The Wyandott word for Negro.
we cannot forbear giving a sketch of one who was the first fruits of Stewart’s ministry, to wit: Catharine Warpole, the woman who proposed making a collection for Stewart, mentioned in the former part of this work.– She was the wife of Warpole, a war Chief of the nation, who was much given to habits of intemperance. When Stewart first came to Sandusky, he was out hunting, and did not return until the next summer. During his absence Mrs. Warpole attended Stewart’s preaching, and in a short time was deeply convinced of sin, (although she had been all her life, a remarkably exemplary and moral woman,) began to inquire what she should do to be saved, and determined to forsake every thing sinful and seek the salvation of her soul, let the present consequences be what they might. When her husband came home, he soon learned what had been going on in his absence, and among other things, that his wife had embraced this new religion. He immediately gave her to understand that he was not pleased with the step she had taken, and that he would never give his consent to
having any new system of religion introduced into his house. She endeavoured in vain to convince him of his error. He commenced a course of persecution and cruelty towards her. She hoped that after a season he would relax his severity and they would live more agreeably; but in this she was disappointed. She continued to seek the Lord, and to call upon him for strength to support her in her trying hours. After a considerable length of time had elapsed, and there appearing to be no prospect of peace and tranquility being restored unless she would renounce and abandon her religious pursuits; with the advice of some friends, she concluded to leave all and make her way to Canada, where she had some connexions.– Accordingly she took an opportunity and started. She had not been long gone, before Warpole suspecting the step she had taken, pursued and overtook her at a Wyandott settlement, called the Big Springs. As soon as he came into the house at which she had stopped, he immediately began beating her with his tomahawk handle, in a most furious
and violent manner. She submitted patiently to these insults and returned with him. He blamed Stewart with being the cause of her becoming deranged in mind, and was much opposed to his preaching to the Wyandotts at all. So she remained until Mr. Henkle came and entered upon his missionary labours, still receiving insults and abuses at his hands until her situation became quite intolerable. In this situation, through Stewart, she made application to Mr. Henkle for liberty to take refuge from those excessive abuses, at his house, to which he consented, and thereupon by a friend, she was in the night season, conveyed some miles distant from the village, and then she proceeded to the house of Mr. Henkle, a distance from Sandusky of seventy-five or eighty miles, where, and at Mr. Armstrong’s at the head of Mad river, she remained for several months, and then returned to Sandusky. Some time after this, her husband professing an anxiety to have her return to and live with him; promising most solemnly that in future he would treat her in a better manner: she having
strong doubts whether it were her duty to do so or not, sought for counsel and aid from others, in regard to this important affair. In order to this, she pursued the following method, to wit: to have the case laid before the preachers and some of the principal members of the Church at a camp-meeting which was to be held on Mad river circuit. This was attended to, her husband himself attending, gave assurances to the meeting that he was sensible of his former wrong in this behalf, and that in future he would amend. It was judged best that she should once more make an attempt to live with him, and accordingly she was so advised. She made the attempt, and although he kept good his vows for a short time, he soon began again to treat her cruelly, and then left her and took another woman. She has since been married to John Hicks, a respectable Christian Chief of the nation, and is to the present day, as is believed by her acquaintances, walking and living as a follower of Christ.
About this time another formidable opposer of religion arose, threatening its total
annihilation among the Wyandotts. This was the head Chief of the nation Duon-quot; a man warmly attached to their heathenish customs, and violently opposed to the introduction of the Gospel among his people; especially as he discovered that a reception of the Gospel as taught by Stewart, would necessarily result in the entire overthrow of the customs and religion of their ancestors. He soon found a number of adherents who were glad of the opportunity of arraying themselves under so powerful a leader. These things did not damp the ardour of the zeal of those who had embraced the”glad tidings of great joy.”Duon-Quot used every intrigue and artifice he could invent, to overthrow the faith of Christian professors. In this conduct of this Chief, there appeared a strange inconsistency, he having lately consented to the article in the Treaty, which made provision for the settlement of a Missionary and establishment of a school among the Wyandotts. In a subsequent revival of the work of religion, when a large number of his adherents withdrew from his party, and
became professors of religion, he was heard to say,”Well, the white man’s religion may go on from house to house, until the whole nation embraces it, but when it comes to my house, it must there stop.”Unhappy man! little did he think when he uttered these words, so fraught with hostility to the best of causes, that in a few days his soul would be required of him; for in a short time he was most violently attacked with the billious fever, and death seemed to be his inevitable fate; but the merciful Lord against whom he had raised the puny arm of rebellion, who delighteth not in the death of a sinner, as if willing to give him another of fleeing for refuge, &c. rebuked his disease and restored him to a good degree of health. But alas! no sign of reformation–his returning strength was again employed in the destruction of his own soul, by resisting the work of the Lord. He was again thrown upon a sick bed, and his disease raged violently; he sent for one of the conjurers or necromancers, hoping that he could remove the disease. The conjurer pow, wowed over him, but could effect no cure.–
He then sent for James B. Finley, (who at this time was missionary at Sandusky,) wishing to try the efficacy of the white man’s medicine; Mr. Finley went and administered such medicines to him as he judged most suitable, but all in vain; the iron hand of death–stern death had laid hold of him, he must submit to the inflexible decree. During this time Stewart visited him, but it is not now known what conversation he had with him. He was surrounded by a large concourse of his friends and adherents during his illness, whom he amused occasionally with his sallies of wit and obscene jests; thus he continued to manifest a perfect indifference with regard to the affairs of his soul which was then hovering about the shores of eternity. Once, sometime before he expired, when in great agony, he was heard to say”If I should be permitted to live a little longer, I would go to meeting.”No further signs of repentance appeared; the closing scene came on,”death with all the sad variety of pain,”extinguished the vital spark, and he died, it is believed without once calling on the name of Jesus for mercy.
About the time Duon-quot rose up in opposition to the progress of religion, an influential person arose in defence of it; this was Between-the-Logs, one of the principal counsellors of the nation, a man well known as an orator and a man of brilliant talents; he had heretofore remained neutral, although an attentive hearer of Stewart’s. By his activity, he succeeded in a great degree in counteracting the hostile and mischievous plans of Duon-quot. It should here be understood, that a Wyandott Chief by the name of Matthew Peacock, was the first Chief that was added as a seal to Stewart’s ministry. It was in the latter part of the year 1819, that Moses Henkle, Sen. having been appointed missionary to aid the work among the Wyandotts, by visiting them once a month, and preach to and otherwise advise them in matters of interest to them, as well for the present life as that which is to come. His missionary labours continued for two years to the great satisfaction of the Christian part of the Wyandott people, during which time much good appeared to be done. Although the principal charge
and care of this flock was now committed to Mr. Henkle, he appeared to consider himself only in the light of an assistant to that good man who under God, had commenced this good work. After Mr. Henkle began to labour in concert with Stewart, Between-the-Logs, Peacock, John Hicks and Manoncue, that once violent enemy and opposer of religion, united themselves with those who were striving to serve the Lord and save their souls. Two-Logs, during the life-time of Duon-quot, continued hostile to the good cause; he was much exasperated on hearing that his younger brother, Between-the-Logs, had embraced religion; he proceeded immediately to his house and made a most violent attack upon, abusing him for abandoning the religion and customs of their forefathers.
It is perhaps worthy of remark, that sometime during the mission of Mr. Henkle, a certain woman who was inimical to Stewart and his doctrines, and a relation to the chief Duon-quot, (who was then yet living) was accused of the crime of witchcraft; this occasioned considerable excitement among the people.
Mr. Henkle and Stewart laboured to convince them of the absurdity of their suspicions, this, however, was not easily accomplished, those suspicions became stronger and stronger, notwithstanding singular plans appear to have been resorted to by the accused to divert the public attention from the subject, which it is not deemed important to lay before the reader. Some of the Chiefs, and especially her relative Duon-quot, and Warpole, became fully satisfied of her guilt, and determined that she ought to die. When Stewart was informed of this, although he knew her to be his enemy, he lost no time, but hastened to place himself before those Chiefs to plead for her life.– However, at a time when no other Chiefs were present, Duon-quot ordered two young men to execute her, which was promptly attended to. From that time to the present, there have been no disturbances among them of the same nature.
In the fall of the year 1821, the Ohio Annual Conference appointed James B. Finley, missionary, to proceed to Upper Sandusky, with his family, work-hands, &c. to erect
suitable buildings for the school, &c. Pursuant to his appointment, he without delay repaired to the place assigned him, and entered upon the discharge of his duties. Here, Stewart’s labours appear, after this arrangement, to be less conspicuous; he continued to labour, inviting sinners to the Gospel feast. Mr. Finley had not many difficulties to encounter in his labours among the Wyandotts; the great stone of opposition to religion was less formidable; much good seed had been sown by the preaching of Stewart, and by the labours of several of the local preachers that visited them before the mission was established; at this time much of the seed began to discover signs of successful vegetation.– All that was now wanting was the doors of the visible church to be thrown open, and the invitation given; a large number was ready and willing to come in, some sound converts ready to come and shout glory to God in the highest, and some true penitents ready to come in and fall at the altar and cry,”God be merciful to me a sinner.”From this time, the work went on in a most prosperous manner; classes
were formed in diffirent directions, composed entirely of Wyandott converts. In the fall of 1823, Stewart enjoyed but poor health; notwithstanding this he ceased not to labour for the salvation of his poor fellow men,”in season and out of season.”It was in the month of August that his indisposition commenced, but had some intermissions, so that he was enabled occasionally to preach. In September his disease grew worse; he suffered much, but not a murmur or complaint escaped him. His complaint continued but with little intermission, until the second Sabbath in December, when he began to suspect his time of sojourning below was but short. A day or two previous, Mr. Finley, Manoncue, and Jonathan, (the latter for Interpreter,) set out to visit a Wyandott settlement in the province of Upper Canada; Manoncue and Jonathan called to see him before they set out on their journey, suspecting they should see his face no more in this world; after some conversation, Manoncue proposed prayer, which was readily agreed to; Manoncue then kneeled down by the bed-side, and poured out his
soul to God on behalf of his afflicted friend. After some further conversation, they took an affectionate farewell of him, when he said to Jonathan,”tell Mr. Finley for me, to be faithful and meet me in glory.”On the 14th he found a great change in his complaint.– On Monday the 15th, he was perfectly speechless, and remained in that condition until Tuesday. All this time his soul appeared to be engaged with God. On Tuesday morning he informed his wife that the time of his departure was at hand; he rose up in his bed and informed those present that he was going to die, and exhorted them to seek the Lord for mercy and salvation; he told them that his peace was made, and he was going to enjoy that rest which remaineth for the people of God. Through the day he was as before, speechless; that night he was quite restless, and seemed to suffer much with pains in his back. Wednesday morning he was in the same situation, still unable to speak. While his wife was busied in attending on him, he appeared to manifest a wish to speak to her, she asked him what he wanted to say? He
then took her by the hand and faintly articulated, “wife, be faithful;”these were his last words; he died at twelve o’clock on that day, being in the thirty-seventh year of his age, and the seventh year of his ministry.
It is to be observed, that although Stewart’s wife, when he married her in the winter of 1818, was quite an intelligent young woman, yet she was not religious; through the instrumentality, however, of her pious husband, it is believed she became a subject of saving grace.
It may here be noticed, as it has not been done sooner, that Two-Logs,a Chief mentioned in the former part of this narrative, as being a great opposer, in the midst of his opposition was arrested by the hand of affliction and brought to languish on a sick bed; this brought him to serious reflection; he found that his fathers’ religion would not sustain him in a dying hour; he then resolved that if the Lord would spare his life, he would turn and seek salvation. He was restored to health, and became an humble, docile, and devout Christian, and died in peace.
Rise, ye heralds of salvation,
Now the Gospel-trumpet, blow;
Go to ev’ry tribe and nation,
Hear! your Master bids you go.
Hark! his word, his Spirit urges,
Count no enterprise too hard,
Dauntless cross the mountain surges,
Christ himself will be your gaurd.
God protects, what pow’r can harm you?
Winds and seas obey his power;
What threat’ning evil shall alarm you,
Or what furious foe devour?
Quit no duty, fear no danger,
Go to all the fallen race,
Say to every outcast stranger,
Ye may now be saved by grace.
Go, with heav’nly ardour burning,
Bright with Christ’s transmitted rays,
Comfort those in darkness mourning,
Turn their sighs to songs of praise.
Bear his cross, which is your glory,
Spread your Master’s glorious fame;
Tell his crucifixion story,
Tell the world his wond’rous name.
Idols then shall fall like Dagon,
Heathen darkness flee away;
Every poor benighted pagan,
See the light of glorious day.
Deserts shall rejoice with singing,
Lonely wastes shall lift their voice,
Barren wilds with verdure springing,
Bloom a fruitful paradise.
Sing, ye saints, a day of gladness
Dawns already from on high,
Put on joy for sable sadness,
Wipe the tear, repress the sigh.
Soon will Zion’s King descending,
Cloth’d in regal robes appear,
Earth shall, to his sceptre bending,
Hail the great millenial year.
MOURNING and drooping here I lie,
Upon this earthly clod;
While heavenly things invite my eyes,
And bring me to my God.
Transported with a joyful view,
Of God’s eternal love,
Unto this world I bid adieu,
And long to be above.
Where all the saints in harmony,
Their Saviour’s praise declare,
In that bright realm of endless day,
There’s not one mourner there.
When they’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
There’s no less days to sing God’s praise,
Than when they first began.
And then as many years should pass,
As sands upon the shore,
The saints above would have no fear,
That the blest space is o’er.
If all the drops in ocean’s wide,
Were to be number’d o’er,
And then by millions multiplied,
And twice as many more.
And then as many years should pass,
As water drops in all,
Or grains of sand, or spires of grass,
Upon this earthly ball.
And then as many millions more,
As stars that fill the sky;
Then all that number doubled o’er,
Can’t meet ETERNITY.
Eternity will still remain,
‘Twill be Eternity;
The song to Christ, who once was slain,
Will last eternally.
Amen! they cry, Amen, Amen,
Thy ways, O God! are true;
Honour and power and glory then,
Thanksgiving is thy due.
Honour and power and endless might,
Be given to the Lord;
In this sweet song they’ll all unite,
And sing with one accord.
Who can describe that blessedness,
Of pleasures ever new;
I long that glory to possess,
And bid all sin adieu.