Obrázky na stránke






The existence of things is not strange; but the powof perceiving this existence is, beyond comprehension, wonderful. Where shall we look for the origin of mind? Whence sprang the youngidea? Was it produced by the immediate agency of the Almighty One? or is it a necessary emanation from the great fountain of nature, the soul of the universe? Our first thought has perished for ever: no exertion of ours can bring it up from the gulf of oblivion: yet, we may awaken the recollection of times long past; we may bid the scenes of childhood pass again before us; and remember with pleasure the carly excursions of the unfledged mind.

When we first become conscious of our own existence, every thing is new-every thing delightful. We inquire not whence we came; we rejoice because we are. The , brisk circulation of the blood and the kindly flow of the animal spirits impel us to action. We find it impossible to control the tumultuous emotions of exultation and joy. We have no power to remain in one place or continue silent: we run, we scream, we leap “like roes or young harts on the mountains of spices.” But this blissful period passes away as a dream, and visits us no more. Our prospects become suddenly darkened: some faint idea of evil, of sorrow, and of death, passes through the mind.

The first thought concerning the final period of our joys and of our existence is inexpressibly distressing.-

“Must I die also?" said I to the


Oconi-mico_must I die as well as Quibo ?” 6Thou must also die,” answered Oconi-mico. "Shall I no more walk? Shall I no more climb up the mountain of buffaloes? Shall I no more shake the fruit from the beautiful pawpaw tree, or swim in the waters of Tuckabatchee? Shall I no more, dear Oconi-mico, shall I no more see the sun rise among the trees of the forest?” “My dear child," said Oconi-mico, “behold the stalks of maize, do they flourish longer than one season? Observe the trees of the forest; they grow old and become rotten: must a man live for ever? Thou must become old; thy hands must tremble, thine eyes become dim, and death put a period to thy existence.” “What is death?” Death is the end of life. Death is nothing.”. “I cannot understand that: come, let us look at my brother Quibo. Is he asleep? let us awake him. His face is cold; his eyes are closed; his limbs are stiff: he is dead. If I touch him, he cannot feel me; If I cry, he cannot hear me; should I pull open his

eyes, he would not see me: he is dead. Why did he lie down on his bed and die? Why did he fall asleep and die? I will run wild on the hills. I will never lie down to sleep, any more. I will not die.

“My dear boy, look at Quibo: he has feet, but he cannot walk; he has hands, but he cannot bend his bow, or take an arrow from his quiver; he has eyes, but he cannot see the sun rise among the trees of the forest: the life--the spirit—the thought of Quibo is gone away to the land of souls.” Sudden as a flash of lightning from a summer cloud, sprang up a new and delightful idea: Quibo is not all dead; his thought is gone to another country. “Where is the land of souls? Oconi-mico took me by the hand and led me to the door of our hut. "Raise your eyes, my son, and observe those red clouds in the heavens.” “I observe them.” “Do you see those blue mountains, whose towering summits are mixed with the descending clouds?" "I see them."

"Beyond these mountains, there is a wide river; beyond that river, there is a great country; on the other

side of that country, there is a world of water; in that water there is a thousand islands: the sun is gone down among them. These islands are full of fruit trees, and streams of water. A thousand buffaloes and ten thousand deer graze on the hills or ruminate in the valleys.” “When I die, shall I become an inhabitant of those islands?” “Love your friends; become a great warrior; and when you die, the good spirit will convey you to the land of souls, where Quibo is.” “Who is the good spirit.. Where is he?" "He is above the stars; he sends down the rain, the hail, and the snow; and he passes by in the wild tornado." "Bad children, like the son of Ottoma, go down into the earth, to a dark place, where dwell the wicked spirits. My child, your mind is fatigued as well as your body. You must

go to rest. Tomorrow you shall see Quibo.”

He took me in his arms and bore me to my couch; he wiped away the tears from my cheeks with the back of his hand, adding, “Rest in peace; the good being will send down his angels to watch over your slumbers.” I slept; and sweet was my repose. What can soothe and calm the mind like the protection of a great and benevolent being? The child may repose confidence in the arm of its father; but, to whom shall the father look up for support? He is conscious of his own weakness, and feels his dependence on every thing that surrounds him. He cannot subject nature to his empire, nor drive the planets from their orbits. Must he submit to the operation of causes and effects? Must be die and be forgotten forever? Or is there any truth in the consolatory invitation: “Come unto


ye weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”. Christians! Your religion sounds sweetly in the ears of a weak and erring creature, like man. It speaks to the heart, affords a refuge to the miserable, and provides a remedy for every evil: but I cannot divest myself of my original opinions. How indelibe are the impressions we received in childhood! Fifty summers have browned my visage, and fifty winters have fur

that are

rowed my cheek; yet still the maxims of Oconi-mico are deeply engraven on the tablets of my mind. The sun of science has striven in vain to dissipate the darkness of my superstition; still I see my god in the black cloud, and listen to "the voice of his excellency" in the thunder; still he reigns in the tempest, and passes by in the tornado.

Navigators inform me that there is no heaven for Indians in the southern seas; yet my fancy can people still a thousand islands with the brave spirits of my forefathers. Still I see their shadowy forms chase the fleeting deer over visionary hills, and I sigh for their company and their joys.

[To be continued.]


The desire of being remembered when we are no more is deeply implanted in the human mind. We all cast "a longing lingering look behind" and desire to know what will be said of us when we are no more. “I shall not altogether die!" was the triumphant exclamation of a poet of antiquity, when speaking of the productions of his brain; "I shall leave a memorial of myself” is the idea of the swain who rudely carves the initials of his name on the glossy surface of a beech tree in the forest.

The idler who cuts letters with his knife on the benches in the public walks, the poet who writes verses with his pencil on the boards of the summer houses are equally anxious that at least some part of them may escape the ravages of the gloomy Libitina.

We do not attempt to condemn this propensity merely because it discovers itself in trifles. No: had circumstances favored the ambition of these candidates for immortality, they miglat have piundered cities, ravaged kingdoms, established empires, and become "mighty hunters” on the earth. This is the same principle which

induced men in early ages to say to each other: “Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach to heaven; and let us make us a name


PIOMINGO—As I know that you have perused with considerable attention our sacred books, and frequently attended our places of Worship, in your peregrinations through these United States, I cannot resist the inclination I feel to request you to give the public some idea of the impression these things made on your mind.

Does there not appear to be an immense disparity between the conduct of the primitive and modern christians? Were you not, at first, almost led to form the conclusion, that the latter could not be derived from the former? Or did you suppose it possible that they might be the same people in a state of extreme degeneracy and degradation? The principles and practice of the early christians appear to have been consentaneous; but will any person in his senses assert that the conduct of the moderns is conformable with the precepts laid down in their books?

I do not intend to request you to particularize all the instances in which this disparity is glaringly apparent. That would be an unreasonable request.

This is a boundless subject: and were you to engage in it, I know not how you would bring it to a conclusion. Of one thing I am certain; the topic would not easily be exhausted.

Should you be fortunate in your present undertaking, I hope you will touch on this subject occasionally. It must be admitted, on all hands, that every man of honor is bound by the professions he thinks proper deliberately to make; therefore, no man, nor set of men, can think it hard that their actions should be compared with that standard which they have deliberately and solemnly

« PredošláPokračovať »