Life and Journals of Kah-ke-wa-quo-nā-by/Chapter II
LEFT the Grand River this day in company with John Crane, a converted Chief, to visit the Indians at the Bay of Quinte, in accordance with the request of the Rev. W. Case, the Presiding Elder of that District. My mind was very wandering through the day, so that I enjoyed but little comfort in religion, being too much taken up with the busy scenes of this world. O Lord, forgive my wanderings. — January 31st, 1826.
February 1st — Started early this morning for Hamilton; found it very cold. Saw some of my Credit brethren encamped near Burlington Bay; spent about two hours with them, persuading them not to neglect the house of God, but to attend the meetings, and be faithful to the Lord. Rode to my uncle, Ebenezer Jones', where I remained the night.
Thursday 2nd. — Started from my uncle's this morning; met my comrade, John Crane, at the outlet of Burlington Bay. Fell in company with two Dutchmen, who could talk about religion. Towards evening enjoyed some comfort in divine things. Blessed be the Lord for any tokens of His love.
Friday 3rd. — Rode to Colonel Givens', where we stayed a little while to enquire into the state of our Indian affairs. He was very friendly, and informed us that he had contracted with a man for the building of ten houses at the Credit, which would be done by July next. After talking about the Indian affairs he asked me to pray with the family, and for this purpose he gave me a prayer-book to read from. I told him that I never prayed from the book; and he consented to conform to my way. I then read a chapter in the New Testament and prayed. The Lord blessed my soul in a measure. O that the Lord would bless our rulers, and make them examples of virtue and piety!
Saturday 4th. — Took breakfast with the Colonel; afterwards rode into the town of York, called at the Government office respecting our lands at the Credit, and was disappointed in not seeing the Governor's Secretary. We were kindly entertained at Dr. Storyls. I enjoyed little or no spiritual comfort this day, my mind being too much taken up with the things of the world. In the evening attended a prayer meeting, which I found a season of refreshing to my soul.
Sunday 5th. — At 11, a. m., I heard the Rev. J. Richardson preach from Mat. xvii. 28. I enjoyed some consolation while sitting under the sound of the Gospel; heard him again in the evening; the house very crowded. Enjoyed some comfort in prayer. O that I had more faith in the Son of God!
Monday 6th. — Pursued our journey this morning; travelled about 32 miles to Mr. Moore's, in Whitby, where we lodged for the night.
Tuesday 7th. — Left early this morning, called at Mr. Tyler's, engaged in prayer with the family, when the Lord blessed my soul abundantly; after taking some refreshment we rode on to Mr. Perry's at Cobourg, where we were kindly entertained. In family prayer this evening the Lord gave me enlarged desires for the spread of His Gospel, especially among the heathen. Blessed be the Lord for any desire to do good! In the course of the day we saw several Ojebway Indians, most of them intoxicated; my soul mourned to see these poor creatures bringing upon themselves swift destruction.
Thursday 9th. — Started this morning and rode about five miles, when we stopped at Mr. Gilbert's, where we took refreshment; after engaging in prayer with the family, proceeded to the village of Belleville. Here I met with an Indian lad named Peter Jacobs, who was learning to read, and appeared very anxious to be instructed in the Christian religion and reading; some kind friends at this place had interested themselves in his behalf. After an hour's rest we pursued our journey to the Mohawk settlement; we called at the first Indian house we came to. I enquired if they would be willing to hear me preach that evening? They said they would, but that they had no stable nor hay for my horse, so that with reluctance we were obliged to go elsewhere for lodgings. After travelling a mile or two farther we came to a hut, where the man of the house received us kindly; he was a Mohawk, by the name of Crawford. I talked with him about religion, and informed him of the great reformation that had taken place amongst his nation at the Grand River. He appeared very serious and thoughtful. The Lord blessed me while praying with his family. There is an English Church at this place, where the Indians assemble on the Lord's day, and are occasionally visited by the Rev. Mr. Molay, in whose absence one of the Indians reads the Church service in his own language. They appear ignorant of experimental religion, for they still drink and dance. Oh that they may leave off their wicked practices, and learn to walk in the way that leads to peace and holiness.
Friday 10th. — Started early this morning for Mr. J. Madden's, at Earnestown. My mind was cast down the fore part of this day, but, on retiring to the woods to pray, the Lord poured out His Holy Spirit and caused me to rejoice abundantly, so that my soul was drawn out in strong desires for the advancement of Christ's Kingdom. O Lord, keep me in this way of perseverance and duty.
Saturday 11th. — This morning at 11 o'clock the Quarterly Meeting began; met my old friend, Elder Case, and my heart was comforted to see some person that I knew. The Rev. P. Smith preached from Romans. v. 2. A prayer meeting was held in the evening; they requested me to speak to the people, during which many wept and cried for mercy, while others rejoiced and shouted aloud. Those that were mourning on account of sin were invited by the preachers present to come round the altar, that the special prayers of the congregation might be offered up on their behalf. About twenty came forward, falling on their knees, and crying for mercy; many of them rose up rejoicing, and returned home praising God for his dying love and pardoning grace. This meeting lasted about four hours, and my heart rejoiced to see the work of God prospering amongst my white Christian friends.
Sunday 12th. — The love feast commenced at 9 a. m. My heart rejoiced to hear of the wonderful dealings of God to his people. But owing, perhaps, to a man-pleasing, and manfearing spirit, I was not blessed with that spiritual joy and peace which I desired. At the Lord's table I was enabled to realize a sense of the goodness of God to my soul in giving His Son to die for me. At 11 a. m., the public services commenced; people flocked from all quarters, so that the house could not contain the multitude, and I was requested to address them in the yard; so great was their curiosity to hear a converted Indian preach, that some held me by my cloak while passing through the crowd, in order to get near the place where I stood. After divine service I rode to Kingston, and heard the Rev. P. Smith preach in the evening to a large and attentive congregation; when he concluded I exhorted the people, and felt thankful for the help I received from the Lord.
Monday 13th. — This day we started in search of the Ojebway Indians, back of Kingston; after riding 20 or 30 miles, we found one camp containing two women and five children, the men being absent. Brother Crane and I introduced the subject of religion, by first informing them of the work of God amongst the Indians at the Grand River. Being now sunset, and the nearest house five miles off, J. Crane and I concluded to remain all night with these Indians; but our pilots, Mr. Armstrong and Dr. Yeomans, went to the nearest white settlement, and said they would return in the morning. After our friends were gone, we renewed our talk with the old Indian woman. She appeared serious, but made no reply to the things said to her; we concluded by prayer. My soul mourned over the miserable condition of these poor creatures, and I prayed earnestly that the Lord would open their eyes and cause them to share in his grace.
Tuesday 14th. — This morning John Crane and I visited another camp of Indians about five miles off. We found several Indians both men and women, to whom we talked about religion and the importance of sending their children to school. We asked them if they would be willing to let some of their children go with us to the Grand River to school? One replied that if his brother would consent to give up his boy, he would let his go too. After praying with them we returned to the camp we left in the morning, expecting to meet our friends, Mr. A. and Dr. Y., but they had sent a man after us with a sleigh, who got so impatient waiting, he returned home, so that we were obliged to travel five or six miles on foot through snow almost knee deep to the white settlement, where we arrived a little before sunset quite fatigued, having taken no solid food. After a cup of tea, we started in a sleigh for Kingston, distance 24 miles — had to drive very fast, having two appointments that evening, one at 6 o'clock the other at 8 o'clock. Arrived at the first an hour and a half after the time — another preacher was conducting the service. I had the opportunity of speaking a few words, but felt feeble and tired. After this we hurried on to the town of Kingston, where we arrived half an hour after our appointment — found the chapel crowded. The Rev. W. Case gave out a hymn and prayed, and then called on me to address the congregation, which I did in much fear and trembling, feeling my weakness and unworthiness to speak to so large an assembly of polished people. In the course of this day I passed through many trials both of mind and body.
Wednesday 15th. — Started from Kingston about noon, and reached Earnestown at sun set. In the evening attended a religious meeting in the Chapel. The Rev. S. Waldron and I exhorted, after which we held a prayer meeting. At this, meeting mourners were invited forward to be prayed for; several came, and two or three professed to experience the pardoning love of God.
Thursday 16th. — Left Mr. Madden's this morning for the Mohawk Settlement, where we intended preaching to the Indians, but were informed on our way that they were opposed to our holding any meeting on their lands; and this report proved to be true, for when we arrived at the Settlement, Mr. Case had the following letter put into his hand:
|To Mr. W. Case.—|
|Mohawk Village, February 15th, 1826.|
|Sir, — Being informed that a Peter Jones would wish to preach in this place, we would observe that we have no desire to hear him, or run after any new fangled doctrine, but intend to keep to that Church whose ministers first sounded the tidings of salvation in the forests of our forefathers, and turned them from the errors of their ways
to the knowledge of the only true God; whom we still wish to worship in the way wherein we have been instructed, and to continue in the things which we have learned, and have been
|of, knowing of whom we have learned them, and beg to subscribe ourselves,|
|P. S. — Such we believe is the wish of all the Mohawks in this place.|
Notwithstanding this letter, we proceeded to hold a meeting. There was a pretty large congregation both of whites and Indians, and we had reason to believe some good was done, After the meeting closed, we were informed that this opposition originated from a white man, who influenced the Indians to sign the foregoing letter, which he himself had written. Thus are the poor Indians too often made the dupes of designing and self-interested persons.
These Indians have adopted the manners and customs of the white people more than those on the Grand River, and have not been at all backward in learning their vices, for they drink, dance, and fiddle well, and where these leading evils are practised, they often lead to misery and ruin.
Friday 17th. — Rode from the Mohawk woods to Belleville, where we spent the day — felt quite unwell with a bad cold enjoyed but little comfort of mind, which caused me to mourn. Here we met with about a dozen Ojebways, principally young men and boys, who having heard of us, came a distance of thirty miles to see and hear what we had to say. After saluting them, I began to explain to them the object of our visit to this part of the country; that we had travelled a great way to see them and tell them about the religion of Jesus Christ, and hoped that they would listen to us. After thanking them for coming to meet us, we sang and prayed with them; they appeared sober and thoughtful.
Saturday 18th. — Had prayers with the Indians this morning — conversed with them about religion. Quarterly Meeting commenced at this place today, public service at 1 o'clock, after which I exhorted the Indians a short time. Visited them again in the evening, when Elder Case, John Crane, and I talked to them at some length. The mode of instruction which Elder Case got me to explain was, "that we were all brothers by creation, that God was our Father, that he made one man at the first, and that all nations sprung from, him; that the difference in our colour arose from circumstances, such as the climate and our mode of living; that the Great Spirit who made our first parents, was no respecter of persons, and that whatever he promised to one person he said to all nations; that all had a right to share in his love, and the blessings of His Gospel." Some appeared affected and thoughtful, which greatly encouraged us to hope good was done.
Sunday 19th. — Went with our Indian friends to the love feast held in the Belleville chapel. I felt humbled to the dust at the table of the Lord, to think how much the Lord had done to save poor sinners, of whom I was the chief. My soul cried, "Glory to God for dying love. O blessed be the Lord who has redeemed us by the price of his blood, and purchased salvation even for the poor Indians!" At 11 o'clock Elder Ryan preached, after which I was called upon to exhort, which I did in fear and much trembling, first to my own people and afterwards to the whites. When the meeting was over I found two more Indians had arrived, and were sitting outside, one known by the name of John Sunday, and the other Moses. They had heard of our being in that part of the country,and came some distance to get us, and hear what we had to say. At the evening service these Indians attended with the others. I explained to them the broad road that leads to destruction, and the narrow road that leads to heaven. I was much encouraged to hope that these poor Indians would receive the Gospel from the serious attention they paid to what I said.
Monday 20th. — Visited the Indians again this morning, and after singing and prayer, we gave them further religious instruction. I first gave them a short address, then called on John Crane to address them. I asked them what they thought of the things they had heard, and whether they would like to become Christians? They answered that was their desire — they would be glad to do better. I likewise enquired whether they had any boys they would like to send up with us to the Grand River School? After consulting amongst themselves, two lads volunteered to go, James Jackson and Pahdequong, the first 16, and the other about 14 years of age. We took them under our charge, but having only one horse, we had to procure what is called a jumper, and to take turns in riding. I attended a funeral among the white people in the afternoon, about eight miles from the village, when I spoke to them on the shortness of life, and necessity of preparing for death.
Tuesday 21st. — Being now prepared to return home, we set off with the two lads, and on Friday arrived at York, and on Saturday evening at the head of the lake.
Sunday 26th. — Attended divine service in Hamilton, where we met a number of the Credit Indians. My soul rejoiced and took courage in finding them still serving God, and happy in his love. After class meeting an appointment was given out for me to preach in the evening, which I did both in English and Indian. Monday 27th. — Started from Hamilton, and arrived at the Mission House, Grand River, about sunset; found those of our Indian brethren who were at home still persevering in the service of the Great Spirit.
Tuesday 28th. — In our morning prayers my soul was wonderfully blest; we all rejoiced while worshipping the Great Spirit. Attended the general prayer meeting in the evening, when Brother E. Stoney preached to us and held a class meeting. We had a powerful time — saints rejoiced, and sinners wept and mourned.
March 4th. — My brother John having business at the Court of Requests at Brantford, I accompanied him down to see the proceedings of the Court; was much grieved at the immoral conduct of some of the white people.
Sunday 5th. — After early prayer meeting, I attended the Sunday School. About noon Mr. Crawford preached, and I exhorted — attended the class; had a happy prayer meeting in the evening. Oh Lord, keep me humble and thankful until death.
Monday 6th. — Went up to see my father, where I stayed all night.
Thursday 9th. — Spent a happy hour in secret prayer and meditation this evening. I feel sensible of the great benefit derived from secret devotion, and mourn that I too often neglect this great duty. How true are the words of our Saviour, "When thou prayest enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."
Saturday 11th. — Was visited this day by a clergyman of the name of Carter, who preached to us from these words: "Our Father which art in Heaven." In the afternoon went to Brantford, and had some conversation with the above named gentleman about our Indian affairs at the Credit. Sunday 12th. — After morning prayers, Mr. Crawford and I attended the Sunday School at 11 a. m. The Rev. A. Torry preached to us from the parable of the wedding garment. We had a precious and powerful time. Assembled for prayer meeting in the evening.
Tuesday 14th. — Started this morning with my father for Mr. George Ryerson's, who had kindly invited me to spend two or three weeks with him in order that I might study the English Grammar.
Wednesday 15th. — In the afternoon arrived at Mr. Ryerson's, and commenced my studies in the evening.
Friday 31st. — Having spent sixteen days with Mr. George Ryerson, endeavouring to improve in the English language, which I found a dry study, I prepared this day for returning home on the morrow. Mr. Ryerson and family have treated me with the greatest kindness, for which I feel truly thankful, and for the pains Mr. Ryerson has taken to instruct me. I pray that he may not lose his reward.
Sunday 2nd. — This was a day of rejoicing, not only to myself, but I trust to all my Indian Brethren who attended Divine Worship. At the commencement of our religious services, Mr. G. Ryerson spoke to us from the 1 Cor. xiii., and after one or two Indian exhortations were given, the meeting closed. In the class meeting the Lord poured out his Holy Spirit in a wonderful manner, so that many fell to the floor without strength to rise, others, clapping their hands, praised aloud the Holy One of Israel. In the evening we held a prayer meeting — received a poor backslider on trial, who appeared truly penitent.
Monday 3rd. — Received a letter from Mr. J. Carey, School Teacher amongst the Munceys on the River Thames. My heart rejoiced to hear that some families were brought over to the faith of the Gospel, and that the prospects were encouraging. Saturday 8th. — Prepared for our removal to the Credit; towards evening went to my father's, where I remained all night.
Sunday 9th. — Father Davis, the Mohawk Chief, and I, conducted the services of the day.
Monday 10th. — My brother John and I started for the Credit, and reached our uncle, E. Jones', where we remained the night.
Tuesday 11th. — Left my uncle's, and arrived at Mr. Pollard's, near the Credit, much fatigued and very cold.
Wednesday 12th. — Met several of the Credit Indians this day; had prayer with them, and the Lord was present to bless us. Slept at our uncle Austin's.
Thursday 13th. — Came from Austin's to the Credit Flats, thence down to the mouth of the river, where we met with many of our people. I immediately proposed having prayer with them. For this purpose I gathered a few slabs and blocks of wood for our Bethel; we commenced worship by singing and prayer. The Lord, who dwelleth not in temples made with hands, was graciously pleased to pour out His spirit upon us; some were silently adoring the Holy One of Israel, while others praised him aloud. Glory, glory, be to God for what I saw and enjoyed myself this day! After prayers, John and I went to a friend's house for the night; here we met with two Indians intoxicated; they appeared to have been deceived by some wicked, designing men, who told them there was no harm in drinking a little. We talked and reasoned with them about the disgrace they were bringing on themselves, for which they appeared sorry, and promised amendment.
Friday 14th. — John and I went to York to see Col. Givins about our Indian affairs; he informed us that Government were going to have twenty-five acres of land ploughed for us on the Flats; but could not inform us of any further aid at present.
Saturday 15th. — Got a party of the Indians to clear and burn some brush on our village lots; returned to our lodgings hungry and fatigued.
Sunday 16th. — I felt so extremely unworthy and ignorant this morning, that I thought it would be folly and presumption in me to attempt to speak in public; however, I endeavoured to compose my mind so that I might know the will of the Lord concerning my duty. Before the time for service, felt my mind much encouraged. At 11 o'clock we had a meeting in a barn; both Indians and whites flocked in to worship the God of Israel. I endeavoured to speak from John iii. 14, 15. In the evening held a prayer meeting with the Indians. Here the Lord was graciously pleased to pour out His Holy Spirit upon us, so that our hearts were filled with love, joy, and peace. My soul was as happy as it could be. Surely the Lord hath heard and answered my prayer, for at evening time it was light. Glory, glory, be to my God and Saviour! O that all the nations of the earth could feel and know the comforts of a hope full of immortality and eternal life! Hallelujah in the highest, the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth!
Monday 17th. — Waited for Elder Madden, who had made an appointment to preach to us to-day; about noon he and the Rev. Egerton Ryerson arrived; at 2 o'clock Mr. Ryerson preached to us from 1 Pet. ii. 7. "Unto you therefore which believe, He is precious." He spoke with energy, and it was a profitable time to us. After service Elder Madden baptized nine of our Indians, five adults and four children. Received from the Elder ten dollars, and my brother John fifteen, which was very acceptable.
Tuesday 18th. — Removed the Indians from the mouth of the Credit to the Flats, and made some necessary preparations for commencing our work, and put up a temporary bark chapel, where we held our meetings till we could raise a better.
Wednesday 19th. — Our party was employed in clearing off village lots. Felt extremely unworthy of conducting and managing both the temporal and spiritual affairs of these Indians, who appear to look to me as their leader, but was enabled to look to the Lord for wisdom and grace to help me in the faithful discharge of my duty.
Thursday 20th. — In the afternoon some of us went to Mr. Watson's, where we heard the Rev. G. Sovereign preach from Acts iii. 22.
Saturday 22nd. — Went with a party of the Indians to a Quarterly Meeting near the 16 mile Creek. Heard Elder Madden preach from Psalm li. 12. Enjoyed much comfort during this service, and also at the evening prayer meeting.
Sunday 23rd. — Both at the love feast and at the table of the Lord I was enabled to rejoice in the God of my salvation. At noon Elder Madden preached from Heb. xii. 1, after which I endeavoured to exhort both in Indian and English.
Thursday 27th. — Intending to raise a temporary building for our meeting and school, we cleared a piece of land and got out some poles and crotches. In the evening held our usual prayer meeting.
Friday 28th. — Went with a party to Mr. Racey's mills to raft down boards for our school and meeting house.
Saturday 29th. — Preached a funeral sermon in the adjoining white settlement. In the afternoon raised and boarded our school house.
Sunday 30th. — In the morning I held the first Sabbath school that had ever been kept in this place; about 40 attended, who behaved very well, but I was much at a loss for teachers, not being able to do justice to so many. At 11, a. m., I commenced the public service, by first reading a portion of Scripture, and then singing and prayer, after which I endeavoured to explain a portion of Scripture in the Indian, and concluded by speaking a few words in English, as there were many white people present. I felt very weak in body, but, thanks be to God, my faith was strong, and there was a shaking among the dry bones. In the class meeting the Indians rejoiced greatly. I was much disturbed with a violent cough, but my soul was filled with the glory of God. When the sun was about an hour high our prayer meeting commenced, and the Lord again poured out his good Spirit upon us, so that there was a shout of great joy in the camp. At dusk I dismissed the meeting, but the brethren had their vessels so full of glory and of God, that they returned home singing the praises of God Most High, nor could they, when at home, restrain their overflowing feelings, but gathered on the green grass, and again continued to offer up prayer and praise for some time. Never shall I forget the joy and the peace I felt this day. Praise the Lord, O my soul! Amen.
Monday, May 1st. — Went to York this morning to see Colonel Givins. Slept at the Rev. J. Richardson's, and was benefited by his godly conversation.
Wednesday 3rd. — Commenced a day school, with about 30 children. Felt grateful to see that the children of my brethren were willing to receive instruction.
Thursday 4th. — At noon Rev. J. Richardson preached to us from, "The son of man is come to seek and save that which was lost." We had indeed a refreshing time while listening to the words of eternal life.
Sunday 7th. — After our early prayer meeting I attended the Sunday school, at 11, a. m.; Mr. Anderson preached, and I exhorted in Indian. Attended a class meeting in the afternoon, and the Indians were happy, but my heart was wandering, cold, and hard.
Sunday 14th. — After early prayers, attended Sabbath school; 45 present, who behaved extremely well. At 11, a. m., I conducted public worship, endeavouring to enforce the necessity of love and union amongst the brethren, from 1st Epis. John iv. chap. In the afternoon Rev. J. Carter preached.
Tuesday, 16th. The Rev. W. Case paid us a visit and talked to us on religion, Received a letter from Rev. John Reynolds, of Belleville.
Saturday 20th. — Towards evening Elder Case and Rev. A. Torry visited us, and gave us some instruction how to regulate and bring the society into order. About noon heard shouts of praise in the bushes; the brethren, while retired for their private devotions, sang and prayed to God aloud. Glory to God in the highest for these pleasing, manifestations of his favour to us poor Indians!
Sunday 21st. — Elder Case preached to us from the 12th chapter of Romans, which I interpreted in the Indian, after which Mr. Torry exhorted. About 2 o'clock I started with Elder Case to visit the Indians on the Bay of Quinte; arrived at York before evening, and heard Rev. Mr. Ryerson preach a Missionary Sermon from these words, "A light to lighten the Gentiles." I felt very reluctant to leave my Indians, but if I can be of any use where I am going, my desire is that the Lord's will may be done.
Monday 22nd. — Remained in York all day; felt solemnized when I beheld the busy multitude apparently so thoughtless about eternal things; I thought a town would be a poor place for me.
Tuesday 23rd. — Proceeded on our journey this morning; Elder Cuse stopped by the way, but requested me to proceed with all haste to Belleville; spent the night at Mr. Cryderman's.
Friday 26th. — Reached Belleville about 9 o'clock this morning; saw some Indians on my arrival, who appeared glad to see me. I despatched two of them to invite a few Indians who were planting about six miles from this place. Held a meeting with them in the evening, endeavouring to convince them of the necessity of embracing the Christian religion; they were very attentive, and I had hope that the Lord would bring them to the knowledge of the truth.
Saturday 27th. — Held a prayer meeting with the Indians in the morning, and about 9 o'clock started with the Rev. J. Reynolds for a Quarterly meeting on the south shores of the Bay; about fifty Indians accompanied us in canoes. Arrived at the meeting about 1 o'clock. The Rev. J. Black preached, and I addressed the Indians. At our prayer meeting in the evening several of my native brethren prayed with great fervour, others spoke, and all praised the Lord for what he had done for them. At the close of the meeting several young persons came with tears in their eyes, and caught hold of my hand, saying, "We are going to serve the Great Spirit because we love him with all our hearts." At this meeting John Sunday was converted. O the joy I experienced while thns engaged, worshipping with these children of the forest. May God carry on his work amongst them!
Sunday 28th. — Our love feast was lively, the Rev. F. Metealf and the Rev. J. Reynolds preached, after which I spoke to my own people, and then to the white people. Returned to Belleville in the evening. Could but regret I had come, for had I remained at Belleville I should have had more time to instruct the Indians.
Monday 29th. — Prayer meeting with the Indians in the morning; felt much encouraged and grateful to God, as their minds seemed to be opening to religion. At 11, a. m., Rev. J. Reynolds and I collected them in the chapel, and endeavoured to point out to them their deplorable condition, and the great need for reformation. The Lord was pleased to lay too his helping hand, and there was weeping throughout the assembly. Spent the afternoon in searching for my horse, which had strayed from the pasture. Short prayer meeting in the evening — a solemn season.
Tuesday 30th. — Travelled all the forenoon in search of my horse, but to no purpose. About noon held a meeting with the Indians, and explained to them the sufferings of our Blessed Saviour, and the nature and design of the Lord's Supper. Two or three Indian brethren exhorted. Spent the afternoon in looking for my horse; again disappointed. Elder Case and Mr. Breakenridge arrived this evening. After almost despairing of ever finding my horse, I heard this afternoon that a horse answering the description of my poor animal had been found by a farmer several miles up the river, so I sent two Indian lads and they brought him back to me, for which I was thankful.
Wednesday 31st. — Had prayers with the Indians in the morning. Two o'clock being the hour appointed for the baptism of the Indians who had given evidence of a change of heart, we assembled in the chapel, where Elder Case first gave a short account of the commencement of the work of God amongst the Aborigines of this Province. I then exhorted them in Indian and explained the nature of baptism. After this, those other adults who were considered fit to receive the solemn ordinance were called forward, being twenty-two. We closed with a class meeting, in which many told their good determinations, and those who had not been baptized rose up expressing their desires to become Christians. The whole number that appear to be under serious convictions is between fifty and sixty.
Thursday, June 1st. — Early this morning held a prayer meeting with the Indians. After breakfast Elder Case baptized eleven children belonging to the Christians. I spoke to them a short time, entreating them not to neglect praying to the good Spirit, to live in peace one with another, be industrious, and never more taste the fire waters; I then bid them farewell: they expressed their gratitude to me for visiting and instructing them. At 10, a. m., set off for home, spending the night at Mr. Meriman's, where I was kindly entertained.
Friday, June 2nd. — Travelled about forty-six miles; called on Mr. S., the great Indian trader, to enquire the state of the Indians about Rice Lake. He informed me they were very intemperate and wicked, but he thought they might be reformed if proper means were used, adding, "he would help me if there was any hope of making them more industrious in catching beaver," — prizing the beaver more than the souls of the poor Indians.
Sunday 4th. — Rode this morning to our Settlement at the Credit. Found the Indians engaged in the Sabbath School, and all pretty well excepting Brother George Youngs, who was very ill. At 11 o'clock our public service commenced. Mr. Anderson preached. After he concluded, I informed the people of the gracious work amongst the Indians at the Bay of Quinte. There was great rejoicing on this account; our hearts were filled with gratitude to Almighty God for what he had done for us poor Indians. At the afternoon prayer meeting, there was a general shout of praise in the camp.
Monday 5th. — Towards evening at the request of the sick man, George Youngs, we had prayers with him that he might be resigned to the will of God, as there was little hope of his recovery. He said there was only one thing on his mind, "he should have liked to live a little longer to have known more of this good religion, but for that he was willing, if it pleased the good Spirit, to die then." O Lord, spare thy servant a little longer if thy holy will — nevertheless not our will, but thine be done.
Tuesday 6th. — In the morning prayed with Brother George Youngs, who was evidently sick unto death. He appeared very prayerful and resigned to the will of God. Dr. A. called; he informed us, there was no hope of his recovery. About ten o'clock word came to me that he was dying, so I hastened down and got there just as he was breathing his last. He fell asleep in the arms of Jesus, to join with the glorified spirits above, where in the Paradise of God he will rest from all his labours. Blessed be God that he died a Christian! At our prayer meeting in the afternoon, we had a solemn time. O Lord, continue to carry on thy work till all the Natives of the forest become Christians!
Wednesday 7th. — At 11 a. m. , I preached a funeral sermon to the Indians, on the patience of Job.; while addressing them on the duty of resignation to the will of God, under all the dispensations of his Providence, there was a solemn joy on every countenance, and frequent bursts of praise. After this service, I committed to the grave the remains of our good brother, in sure and certain hope of a glorious resurrection. This is the first Christian Indian buried at the Credit. In the afternoon rode to see Col. Givins concerning our temporal affairs.
Monday 12th. — Started with a number of the Indians to attend a Camp meeting on Yonge Street, where we arrived the next day about noon. During the meeting (which lasted three days), a number both of whites and Indians professed to experience a change of heart. At the close, several Indians received the solemn ordinance of baptism. The name of the Lord be praised!
Wednesday 21st. — Col. Givins issued our payments and presents. On reading the receipt of the land payments presented for the Chiefs to sign, I discovered a discrepancy between the amount of the original agreement and the amount of goods now received. The original agreement stated that the Credit Indians were to be paid for lands ceded to the Crown, the annual sum of £522 10s. currency, in perpetuity. Whereas the amount of goods now paid to the Indians, was £472 10s. Thus cutting off £50. I directed the attention of the Inspecting Officer to the same, and asked him why this was done. He immediately called Col. Givins to explain to us why this reduction had been made. He replied that he was not at liberty to explain.
Thursday 22nd. — Left with several of the Indians for the Grand River Camp meeting, which commences to-morrow near Mount Pleasant. I found my Father and family in good health. At this meeting some were brought to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. The weather was unfavourable which made it unpleasant.
Monday, July 2nd. — From this day till the 21st, I kept close at home, holding public services on the Sabbath days, and prayer meetings during the week. The Great Spirit was with us of a truth, and some were brought from darkness to light, and from the service and power of Satan, to the service of the true and living God. To Him be all the glory ! Amen.
July 29th. — This day I received the following letter from my dear father, together with the valuable and useful present of a horse:
|Cold Springs, Grand River,|
|July 11th, 1826.|
|Dear Peter — I last evening received your most pleasing letter, respecting the goodness of our Lord in carrying on his work of grace at the Credit, of which I truly rejoice to hear. Be humble, faithful, and thankful, and the gracious Lord will bless you and your labours; for after we have done our best, we have done no more than our duty; the work is the Lord's. I returned last evening from our Quarterly Meeting on the Governor's Road; about thirty of our Indians attended, who in general appeared happy in the Lord. I also|
|experienced something of the goodness of God, which makes me more humble and thankful, and I hope and trust, through the goodness and assistance of God, I shall be more faithful than I have been.
Please to give our true love to John and Christiana, and all the rest of our friends at the Credit. We expect to meet you and them at the Camp meeting. I think a good many of our Indians will come down at that time. I send you Jack, and hope the Lord will preserve both you and your beast. He is quiet and hardy; the only fault I know, he stumbles sometimes, and if you find that he does not suit you as a riding horse, you can change him for some other; but always tell your reasons. May the Lord bless you. Pray for your unworthy father,
|To Mr. Peter Jones.|
|N. B. — Tell Christiana that I have promised to bring her mother to the Camp meeting; she went with us to our Quarterly Meeting.|
Thursday, July 20th. — Made preparations this day for a journey to Lake Simcoe, in order to preach to the Indians in that vicinity, and also to attend a Missionary meeting near Newmarket, with the Rev. E. Ryerson. Two of our christian Indians from the Bay of Quinte, John Sunday and Moses, volunteered to accompany me. These brethren have been on a Christian visit with us for a week, during which time their faith and religious knowledge have been greatly increased.
Friday 21st. — Started with my two native brethren for Lake Simcoe. Arrived near Newmarket on Saturday evening, and met the Rev. E. Ryerson.
Sabbath 23rd. — At 10 o'clock, Mr. Ryerson preached a Missionary sermon at Tyler's Meeting House. I exhorted after him, and was greatly blessed whilst speaking. Blessed be God for his loving kindness to me a poor unworthy creature! At 3 o'clock Mr. R. preached in the village of Newmarket, to a large concourse of people in the open air, the church being too small to contain so large a congregation. His text was Mark xvi. 15. About thirty pagan Indians were present. When Mr. R. concluded, I spoke to the Indians. After telling them the object of our visit, I explained to them the leading doctrines of the Gospel. I also spoke a few words to the white people who were listening with profound attention. Brother John Sunday then addressed the Indians, and told them about his conversion and christian experience, which seemed to have a good effect on their minds. We shook hands with the Indians at the close, and conversed further with them on the subject of religion, finding by their conversation that they were favourable to Christianity, we promised to meet them the next morning at their camps.
Monday 24th. — Visited the Indians according to promise, and held a meeting with them. I first spoke to them on the subject of religion, then Brother Sunday, and afterwards Moses, arose up, and in a forcible manner exhorted them to accept the gospel of Christ, telling them if they refused to hear, eternal fire would be their portion for ever and ever; and added that all drunkards who would not leave off drinking, would be cast into hell. After he finished, I desired them to tell us what they thought of the things they had heard. Chief Snake rose up and said — "Brothers: We feel very thankful to you for your visit to us, to shew us how wretched and miserable we are in our present condition, and to tell us what the Great Spirit would have us do to make us wise, good, and happy; for my part I am ready and willing to become a Christian. I hope that all my young men will become good and wise, and serve the Great Spirit." He then enquired when they should have a school. Another old man rose and spoke to the same purpose. We then sang and prayed, commending them to the Lord, and so took leave of them, departing in hope that our labours had not been altogether in vain in the Lord. About noon I parted with my companions, Sunday and Moses, who returned home rejoicing in what they had seen and heard, and said they should tell their brethren what great things the good Spirit had done for their brethren at the Credit, and those whom we had just visited. I was much encouraged during this visit to persevere in my feeble efforts to do my native brethren good.
Friday 28th. — Started in company with a number of our Credit Indians, to attend a Camp meeting at the Twelve Mile Creek. Arrived in the afternoon and fixed our tents. Met with my father and the Grand River Indians. During this meeting, which lasted till Monday, 31st, my native brethren rejoiced greatly in that Great Being who is no respecter of persons, but dispenses his heavenly blessings on all who call on His name. At the close of this meeting, the Presiding Elder invited all those who had experienced a change of heart to come forward to the stand: about forty advanced, among whom were three Indians. I thank and praise the Lord for what I have enjoyed at this Camp meeting. It is because thou, O Lord, art good and merciful, that thou dost bless such a poor unworthy creature as I am!
Monday 31st. — Returned to the Credit. In the afternoon had a funeral service over a child that died during our absence, daughter of John Muskrat. I endeavoured to speak to them from 1 Cor. xv. 22. My heart was overwhelmed with love for the dear children, desiring much their happiness in time and through eternity.
Monday, August 7th. — Received a message from Col. Givins, requesting the Chiefs and principal men to meet him in Council at York. His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor having a communication to make to us, we accordingly set off early in the morning.
Tuesday 8th. — About 10 o'clock Col. Givins took us before the Commanding Officer of the Garrison, at which place he, (Col. G.) delivered to us the following message from the Governor, Sir Peregrine Maitland. He stated that he was requested by the Governor to inform us that he, (the Governor,) was very much opposed to our attending the Methodist Camp meetings, and that if we persisted in going to any more of them, he would cast us off, and have nothing more to do with us — that we could now take our choice, either to desist from attending Camp meetings, and retain the good will and aid of the Governor, or persist in going and lose his friendship and assistance. This was, indeed, a great trial to us, and I was for a few moments quite confounded and astonished, having been taught to believe that man was a free agent, and had a right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience; and also that the King's laws granted all his subjects liberty to worship God as they felt it their duty; so that if a man thought it right to retire to the woods to pray, who had a right to prevent him? or if he felt it his duty to confine his religion to the Church, who had a right to judge him? Is not God the judge of all men, and are we not accountable to him for our stewardship? After a long consultation between ourselves, the Chiefs thought it advisable for the sake of what the Governor had done and was doing for us, not to oppose his will in this matter, particularly as we were just commencing a settlement, and endeavouring to improve in civilization.
I abstain from giving further comments on this affair, but leave others to judge for themselves.
Thursday 10th. — Received a letter from the Rev. J. Richardson, informing me that a number of Indians at the Holland Landing, from Lake Simcoe, were desirous of seeing me, and hearing me speak on the subject of religion.
River Credit, August 26th. — The number of Church members at this Mission, is 110. Thirty-five of whom have joined the Society since our removal to this place. I have known but one disorderly person amongst the whole tribe.
Friday, January 19th. — Started this day to visit the Indians at Rice Lake and Darlington. Met Elder Case at York, and spent the night at Mr. Doel's.
Saturday 20th. — After receiving instructions from Elder Case how to proceed on my journey, and where to find the Indians, I set off hoping to reach Darlington before night, but was disappointed, and did not get further than Still's Tavern.
Sunday 21st. — Arrived this morning at Mr. Cryderman's, near where the Indians are encamped. Went immediately to them. They appeared very anxious for religious instruction, which I commenced giving them on the Lord's prayer and the Ten Commandments; the number present was about forty. In the evening held a meeting with the white people, to whom I endeavoured to speak from Heb. ii. 3. The congregation was large and very attentive. I addressed the Indians present at the close, who were deeply affected, and I pray God that some good may be the result.
Monday 22nd. — In the course of this day's travelling I was enabled to raise my heart to God for a Divine blessing on my feeble efforts to instruct my native brethren. Fell in company with three Quakers, two of whom were preachers; they expressed themselves much pleased with our reformation, and exhorted us to be faithful in following the Great Spirit. Spent the night at Mr. Aylesworth's.
Tuesday 23rd. — Started from Mr. Aylesworth's, near Cobourg, and travelled to Monaghan. Put up for the night at Mr. Thompson's, where, in the morning, I spoke to a small congregation, from John iii. 14, 15. Had some enlargement of soul to do my Master's will. Oh! that I may be more faithful in the discharge of my duty, both towards God and towards man. Wednesday 24th. — Left Mr. Thompson's for Mr. Blackstock's, in Cavan, near where the Indians were encamped. In the afternoon I visited them at their encampment, and found a number of them who had just arrived busily employed in putting up camps, and was informed that they were gathering from all parts to this place in order to receive religious instruction. After collecting them together I spoke to them the words of eternal life. While addressing them they broke forth in praises to the Great Spirit, and wept so vehemently, that I was forced to stop and weep with them. After concluding the meeting one of the principal men addressed me, saying, "We are very glad you are come to tell us the words of the Great Spirit, which make our hearts so happy, and which we have found so recently." I replied, it was the will of the Great Spirit that we should love one another, and assist each other in the way to Heaven, and that was the reason I had come to instruct them.
Thursday 25th. — In the morning Mr. Bamford and I visited the Indians; after praying with them we got them to build a bush chapel, which they completed by noon. This chapel was formed by digging away the snow and forming an embankment of it in a circle, poles were then stuck into the ground all round, which we covered with barks and hemlock boughs; a fire was made in the centre. Held a meeting with them in the afternoon and instructed them in the Lord's prayer, so that they might commit it to memory; which many of them did in a short time.
Friday 26th. — Commenced this morning teaching the Indians the Ten Commandments, and other necessary things for them to learn. It delighted me much to see the simplicity of their faith, and with what apparent joy they received religious instruction. Friend Moses and Captain Pahdosh arrived this afternoon with the intention to give them further instruction. Held a meeting in the evening, and explained to them the meaning of our redemption by Christ.
Saturday 27th. — Instructed my native brethren again this morning in the Ten Commandments by repeating them over and over again, and explaining their meaning.
Sunday 28th. — At 10 o'clock I preached to the Indians at Mr. Blackstock's house from these words, "Go ye into all the world," &c., after which I endeavoured to address the white people who were present, telling them what great blessings the Gospel had brought to the Indians. At 3 o'clock Mr. Bamford delivered a lively discourse.
Monday 29th. — Visited my native brethren this morning for the last time. Gave them some general instructions about managing their religious meetings, and settling their accounts with the traders; concluded by commending them to the Lord. On bidding them farewell many of them began to weep, sorrowing because I was about to leave them, and on shaking hands some put small pieces of silver money, others a few coppers, into my hand, and the women gave me some silver brooches. My heart was almost overcome to witness the liberality of these these poor Indians, and their attachment to me, who am not worthy of the kindness shown me. Oh! that I may never bring a reproach on religion by my unfaithfulness. The number of Indians at this place who have experienced religion I should judge to be about one hundred; seventy-five of them were baptized by the Rev. W. Case, at the last Quarterly meeting held in this place, a few days before I arrived. Col. Givins had lately visited them in order to ascertain whether it was their desire to settle down, and become farmers at the Rice Lake, and that if they were, the Government would assist them by entering into a contract to get some houses built, provided they were willing to pay for them out of their land payments. After consulting among themselves they agreed it would be best for them to do as the Government recommended. In the afternoon Moses and I started for Fort Hope, to visit the heathen Indians that were about that place. Slept at Mr. Thompson's.
Tuesday 30th. — Arrived at Port Hope in the afternoon, but was not able to hold any meeting with the heathen Indians, as most of them were intoxicated. We told them they must be sober next morning, as we wished to speak to them about the Son of God and his religion. Mr. Smith, the Indian trader, was very friendly to us, and expressed his pleasure that the Indians were reforming and becoming sober. Stayed all night at Mr. Healey's, where I was kindly entertained by the family.
Wednesday 31st. — About noon collected all the Indians together in a school house that Mr. Smith kindly offered for the purpose of holding our meeting. After singing and prayer I began my instructions. After speaking in English to the white people present, Moses, my companion exhorted the Indians to receive the Gospel, as he knew by experience it was the only thing that could make men happy either in this world or the world to come. I concluded the meeting by telling them that if it was their desire to receive the Gospel they could make it known to us. After consulting among themselves, one rose and Said in an audible voice, "that it was their desire to become Christians, and that they would endeavour to do all that we had told them ;" as a pledge of their sincerity he called me up to him and gave me his hand. I then exhorted them to be faithful to their promise, and recommended them to attend the instructions of their Indian brethren who had come from Cavan to try and do them good — to this they consented.
Thursday, February 1st. — Left Mr. Farley's, where I slept last night, arrived in the evening at Mr. Moore's, of Whitby, near which place some Indians were encamped. Attended a prayer meeting, where both Indians and whites assembled. After singing and prayer I exhorted first in English and then in Indian, and trust some good was the result.
Friday 2nd. — After breakfast Mr. Moore and I visited the Indian Camps. Held a meeting with my brethren, and commenced teaching them the Lord's prayer in Indian, and explaining its meaning. In the afternoon employed in the same way. Their anxiety to be taught the will of God encouraged me to labour for them with all my might. Enjoyed very pleasant thoughts this day of the goodness of God to us poor wandering Indians in dying for us; and in giving us the means of instruction.
Saturday 3rd. — As my brethren could now repeat the Lord's Prayer, I employed this day in teaching them the Ten Commandments. One Indian soon repeated them over and over again without making any mistake. At the close of this meeting, I gave them some instructions concerning the observance of the Sabbath. Felt quite rejoiced and encouraged to see the rapid improvement these Indians made in the knowledge of the will of God. May the Lord keep them from all evil! Amen.
- I have often since heard John Sunday say that he never forgot the two roads, and that from that time he began to pray, and resolved to try and serve the only true God.