« AnteriorContinuar »
THE Society for propagating the Gospel among the Indians and others in North America, owe to the public at large, and particularly to the Legislature of this Commonwealth, who have for a series of years, annually granted them liberal aid in carrying into effect their plans for disseminating religious knowledge among the destitute inhabitants of Maine, an account of their proceedings and expenditures for the past year. This account follows.
The Society appointed the following Missionaries for the current year. * Rev. Samuel Hidden for - - - - - - 2 months. Rev. Edmund Eastman - ...... 2 do.
Rev. Daniel Oliver - - - - .... 3 do. * Rev. Asa Lyman - ..
Rev. Daniel Emerson .. ... .. 2 do. * Rev. Timothy Davis .
- 3 do. Rev. Daniel Lovejoy .
1 year. Mr. Elisha Clap -
3 months. Rev. Hezekiah May ....... 3 do. Rev. Nathaniel Webster - - . .. 2 do. Rev. Thaddeus Osgood . . . . . . - 6 do. Rev. Stephen Chapin ....... 4 do. Rev. Enoch Whipple (Isles of Shoals). 3 do.
Mr. Clap has been employed among the Indians at Marsh. pee, in the station, left vacant by the death of the venerable Mr. HAWLEY ; with instructions to make occasional visits to Martha's Vineyard. The Society have the satisfaction to be
* Those whose names have this mark (*) prefixed, have not fulfilled their mission.
assured, that his services have been very useful and acceptable; and there appears a reasonable prospect of perfecting a plan for the establishment of a permanent ministry on a suitable foundation at Marshpee.
Mr. Whipple has spent the time allotted him among the few poor and illiterate fishermen on the Isles of Shoals. His journal exhibits an affecting view of the situation of these peo. ple, which loudly calls for the continued attention of the chris. tian public, and more especially at this time, when their only means of subsistence has become so scanty and precarious.
The Society, through whose instrumentality a meeting house, . and a parsonage house, have been erected on these isles, free of expense to the inhabitants, have received a grant of $200 from the Legislature of New Hampshire, to aid their endeavours to meliorate the moral and religious habits of these people. As the principal part of them are within the limits of that State, the Society confidently hope for their further and annual assistance.
The field of Missionary labour assigned to the Rev. Mr. Emerson, was the destitute places in the neighbourhood of Dartmouth, a part lying in this State, and a part in the State of Rhode Island. The recent and lamented death of this pious and excellent man, taken away in the prime of life, from a sphere of extensive and increasing usefulness, has prevented our receiving an account of the success of his labours.
The Rev. Mr. Osgood was commissioned to perform mission. ary duty among the destitute inhabitants in the north-western parts of Vermont, the northern and western parts of New York, and in the State of Ohio. He is now on his mission, and his let. ters, from which we make the following extracts, encourage a hope of extensive benefit from his assiduous and faithful services.
St. Albans, September 16, 1808. “I preached a lecture in St. Albans last evening ; it is the second lecture I have preached here to a very large and atten.
tive audience. I have been very cordially received thus far. I have spent five weeks on missionary ground. I have passed one Sabbath at Pittsfield, one at Shelburn, one at Williston, one at Jericho, and the last I passed at Colchester. I have administered the ordinance of the Lord's supper three times, and the ordi. nance of baptism three. I find a serious attention commencing and spreading in a number of towns on the western side of the mountain, and in some of them the work of God has been very powerful. In the town of Westford some of their warmest universalists and most noted deists have been humbled, and brought to embrace the truths of the gospel. Since I came into this State I have procured to be printed 15,000 small tracts of different kinds to circulate among schools and pri. vate families. I have had some money contributed for this purpose and I have applied the little which I received of the society, to this important object. I cannot carry but a small part of them with me, but I have engaged a number of persons to assist in circulating them in Vermont. I think there is the prospect of doing much good by circulating small tracts among schools and private families.”
Mr. Osgood also at his own charge, has extended his la. bours among the destitute inhabitants of Upper Canada, from whence he writes thus :
6 Since I wrote you last I have been spending time in Montreal and its vicinity. I spent two Sabbaths in the northeast corner of New York. I have spent one in Montreal, and have been up the Grand River about fifty miles, and am now at Montreal. I think sir, there is great reason to bope for a very ample reward by sending missionaries into this province. If you can send a young man of good talents into this part of the country, I believe he would be very cordially received and be the instrument of doing much good, especially if he would take up the business of printing and distributing tracts. I therefore earnestly desire you, if possible, to employ some proper person on this northern circuit, but do not, I bescech you, employ a person very much bigotted in favour, or against any particular sect or denomination of christians ; for in that case I am sure he will do but little good. I think to do good we must support the great cause of religion, rather than contend for the peculiarities of any religious seet.”
From Ogdenburgh, New York, under date of Nov. 14, he writes as follows.
“ I was passing up towards Kingston on the British side, and hearing, that the people were wholly destitute in the village of Ogdenburgh I crossed over to spend the Sabbath. This may unfold to you the reason of my being here. I have been very cordially received by Judge Ford, and some of the leading characters of the place, and they made yesterday a liberal contribution to assist me on my journey. And I have reason to bless God for the very friendly reception I have met with in every place where I have been called to labour. By the liberality of the people among whom I have been missionating, I have been enabled to procure to be struck off in Vermont and in Lower Canada upwards of 20,000 small tracts of different kinds. Among these tracts are Leslie's Short Method with the Deists, the Assembly's Shorter Catechism, the Death of the Earl of Rochester, and a number of other small pamphlets of different kinds for children.”
The other missionaries have all been employed in the Dis. trict of Maine. The Rev. Mr. Lovejoy is stationed by the Society for one year in the district comprehending Vassalboro', and Sedgwick, and vicinity, in expectation that he will receive a part of his support from these towns, and the remainder from the funds of the Society. Accounts from him are favourable.
Rev. Mr. Eastman travelled upwards of 300 miles in the counties of York, Oxford, Kennebeck, and Lincoln. In the two former counties, he found the people unusually attentive to religious instruction. “They expressed their increased ob. ligations and gratitude to the Society for their attention to them.” In the two latter counties he found the inhabitants in