« ÎnapoiContinuați »
teen had died of consumption, ten or eleven of whom were his children. He felt the bereavement deeply, and sometimes evinced strong emotion when conversing upon the subject. On one occasion, when visiting an aged lady of his acquaintance at Avon, who had known him almost from his youth, and who was aware of his domestic afflictions, she inquired whether any of his children were living. He fixed his eyes upon her with a sorrowfulexpression of countenance and replied :— Red-Jacket was once a great man, and in favour with the Great Spirit. He was a lofty pine among the smaller trees of the forest. But after years of glory he degraded himself by drinking the fire-water of the white man. The Great Spirit has looked upon him in anger, and his lightning has stripped the pine of its branches !
“For his second wife Red-Jacket married the widow of a deceased chief, whose English name was • Two Guns.' She was one of the most amiable and respectable women of her tribe. Her mind was of a superior order, and the dignity of her manners and fine personal appearance rendered her a very suitable counterpart to the noble form and bearing of her husband. It is an interesting, if not remarkable fact, that notwithstanding the inveterate hostility of Red-Jacket to the missionaries, and his confirmed paganism, his wife became a Christian, and several of his children were believed to have died in the same faith.
" It was in the year 1826 that his wife first became interested in the subject of religion. She was frequently seen in the Christian assembly, an attentive listener to the truths of the gospel, as presented from Sabbath to Sabbath in the plain familiar address of the missionary. She at length abandoned her pagan worship, became a constant attendant at the mission chapel, and in the following year proposed connecting herself with the little church then under the pastoral charge of the Rev. Mr. Harris. This proposal was strongly resisted on the part of Red-Jacket. He represented to to her that they had hitherto ever lived in peace and harmony, and had been prosperous and happy; and now if she was going to leave him and go over and join herself to the company of his political and personal opponents, one thing was certain, that he should leave her for ever; he should never come to see her again.' Soon after this somewhat arbitrary communication, she went one day to the house of Mr. Harris, apparently in much distress, to ask counsel as to the course she ought to pursue. The advice can readily be anticipated. She was told that God required her to be a Christian under all possible circumstances ;-that it was best to follow the dictates of her conscience and the commands of Jesus Christ; and that if she would humbly look to the Saviour for grace, He would strengthen and comfort her under this trial, and cause it to work for her good. Still, although holding the course thus indicated to be the path of duty, the missionary very properly observed to her that she must be governed in her decision by the voice of conscience, and the dictates of her own judgment.
“ Her resolution was soon taken to abjure the dark and senseless superstitions of her people; and in a short time thereafter she was received on the profession of her faith into the fellowship of the Christian church. True to his threat, Red-Jacket left her; and retiring to the Tonnewanta reservation, connected himself with a woman of that nation. No one questioned the sincerity or the strength of the attachment of the woman thus abandoned by her husband, yet she followed not after him, nor made any efforts to induce his return. The injury was borne with a meek and submissive spirit,—so much so as to endear her greatly to the members of the mission family, to whom she became much attached and with whom she was wont to spend several hours almost every week, in Christian conversation and prayer.
“Red-Jacket continued absent in his new alliance, for six or seven months, by which time he repented of his folly and returned to his lawful wife, whom he urgently solicited to receive him back. She did receive him, with the same
meek and forgiving spirit that marked her character and conduct during her desertion. But it was with the condition that she should be unmolested in regard to her religious opinions, and the discharge of her Christian duties,—a condition to which Red-Jacket willingly acceded. Their conjugal relations having thus been re-established, the chieftain and his wife continued to live together with their usual harmony, until a divorce was pronounced by a summons from another world."*
While our author speaks as the friends of religion would wish him to speak of the duty and value of missionary efforts among the Indians, it is evident that his anticipations of their future destiny are altogether gloomy. We are not prepared to reject these views. But concerning one thing we trust no Christian will allow himself to doubt or hesitate; and that is, that it is the duty of us, who possess the country which once they occupied, and who have gradually crowded them off to remote settlements, as long as any of their tribes remain, to SEND THEM THE GLORIOUS GOSPEL. This duty is undoubtedly devolved upon us as a Christian people. If we neglect it, no other portion of the evangelized population of our globe will probably consider them. selves as called upon to attempt the work. And even if it should prove to be the will of God that they all melt away, and that, fifty years hence, there should not be an Indian remaining in the United States; still, can any one who has a Christian heart doubt, that, in the mean time, we are bound to do all in our power to secure the eternal welfare of some of that unhappy people whose well being in this world we are likely to destroy—by taking the advantage of their weakness and ignorance-by imparting to them our worst vices—and by almost every form of fraud and oppression by which craft and power may root out and extinguish a weaker party. In all this we have no doubt, from the spirit of his work, that our author would entirely concur.
But while we contend earnestly for the duty and importance of American Christians sending the gospel to the Indians, we are persuaded there is also more importance than is commonly imagined, in selecting men of the right stamp for this purpose. However sincerely pious and well meaning a missionary to those people may be, unless he have, over and above his other qualifications, something of that native sagacity, good sense, and knowledge of human nature which so eminently characterize the Indians, he had
*“I have derived the facts of this relation respecting Red-Jacket and his second wife, directly from Mr. Harris, the missionary, himself.”
better not attempt to minister to them. Unless we mistake, we have known missionaries thus employed, who, though, persons of excellent moral and religious character, were adapted to do little or no good, -perhaps in some cases harm_in that field of labour.
Red-Jacket died in 1830, in the 78th year of his age. For nine years after his decease, our author informs us, neither a stone, nor any other memorial marked his grave. But during the summer of 1839, an actor, connected with the New York theatre, by the name of Placide, while on a visit to Buffalo, determined that the place of his sepulture should no longer be undistinguished. Under his direction a subscription was set on foot, and a neat marble slab erected over the grave of the departed chief, bearing his Indian and English names, his age and the date of his death, and representing him as the friend and protector of his people.
Here we take leave of our respected author. We feel indebted to him for a truly valuable work, which we take for granted the literary public will have discernment enough to patronize. We are glad to learn from his preface, that he has in view, and hopes to accomplish the publication of two other historical works. We shall anticipate their appearance with interest, and shall be glad to meet him agair. in a field in which he has done so well.
The typography, and the general style of elegance in which this work is “ gotten up," are worthy of high praise. It is accompanied by a likeness of Red-Jacket, which we think no one can contemplate without feeling that he is looking upon the image of a very remarkable man.
Art. II.-1. Joannis Calvini in Librum Geneseos Com.
mentarius. Ad editionem Amstelodamensem accuratissime exscribi curavit E. Hengstenberg. Berolini.
Pars Prior, pp. 276. Pars Altera. pp. 277. 8vo. 1838. 2. Kommentar über die Genesis von Dr. Friedrich Tuch,
Privatdocent an der Universität zu Halle. 8vo. pp. 896.
Halle, 1838. 3. A Companion to the Book of Genesis. By Samuel H.
Turner, D. D. Prof. Bib. Lit. and Interp. of Scrip. in the
4. A Family Exposition of the Pentateuch. By the Rev.
Henry Blunt, M. A., Rector of Streatham, Surrey, Chaplain to his Grace the Duke of Richmond, and formerly Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge—Genesis—First American from first London edition: 12mo. pp. 235. Philadelphia, 1841.
If it be true, as has been said, that every generation must supply itself with books, and if this be true of sacred no less than of secular literature, it behooves the censors of the public press to watch with lively interest, both the quantity and quality of the supply which is, from time to time, afforded. When the quantity is deficient it becomes an urgent duty to incite those who are already qualified to active labour, and, where such are wanting, to create them, as it we by inducing men of talent to qualify themselves for this peculiar kind of usefulness. When, on the other hand, the quality of such productions, whether few or many, is below the standard fixed by sound scholarship, good taste, and the necessities of the church, no efforts should be spared, upon the part of those who influence the public judgment, to supply what is deficient and correct what is erroneous, by discriminating criticism, and by continually holding up to view the highest models and severest rules, as standards of comparison. How far the course pursued by professional critics is in actual accordance with this statement of their duty, it is not for us to say. Still less are we entitled to pass judgment on the biblical and theological department of literary criticism, and least of all upon our own humble labours. We may say, however, that we have endeavoured to afford our readers the necessary means by which to form a correct notion of the gradual accessions to our stores of sacred learning. And in so doing, we have done enough, undoubtedly, to show that this important field has not of late been suffered to lie waste without attempts at cultivation. A year ago we took occasion to examine the comparative merits of three new works upon Isaiah. We have now a like duty to discharge in reference to four works upon Genesis. We are glad that this part of scripture still continues to receive attention. Its importance has been too long and too greatly underrated. We have seen, with much surprise, a disposition on the part of some who occupy themselves with sacred learning, to select as special objects of attention, those parts of scripture where the difficult and interesting questions which present themselves are almost purely of a litera
ry nature; where the bearing of the exposition upon doctrines, or duties, or the general meaning of the word of God, is remote or incidental; where the most successful exegesis adds but little to the aggregate amount of knowledge, and the least successful takes but little from it. This suggestion, we are well aware, is liable to be misunderstood, as tending to encourage an irreverent discrimination between books and parts of books, equally canonical and equally inspired. To save ourselves from such an imputation, let us add that we maintain the absolute equality, in this respect, of all parts of the bible, and that we do not even mean to make allusion to a supposed distinction in the relative importance of the subjects, which are treated of in different parts. Even supposing them to be alike in this respect, and equally difficult of exposition, it is certain that there still may be a most material difference in the very nature of the difficulties which exist. In one case these may arise from an apparent inconsistency with other parts of scripture, if not with the immediate context, or from the doubtful import of the very words and phrases upon which the general meaning of the passage turns; while in another case, the general sense is undisputed, as well as its agreement with the rest of scripture, but particular expressions are of such a nature as to furnish full employment to the most laborious critic, for an indefinite length of time. Between such cases there is certainly a difference, altogether independent of the nature of the subject, and entirely unconnected with the question of authority or inspiration. And what we speak of as surprising is that some, who feel an unaffected interest in biblical interpretation, should expend their strength upon those questions, the solution of which tends the least to throw light on the scriptures as a whole. This disposition has been greatly fostered by the example of the modern German critics, most of whom regard the scriptures as precisely on a level with the Greek and Roman classics, and are therefore naturally led to dwell upon those parts which afford most room for the display of ingenuity, refined taste, and antiquarian research. An instance is afforded by the celebrated work of Gesenius on Isaiah, which enters, with the liveliest interest, and the most minute precision, into those parts of the book which relate to the local and temporary interests of ancient nations, while those which are intrinsically of far greater moment, are treated with a superficial brevity, and