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A gentleman, who had been much among the Indians, told me an anecdote which is somewhat similar. “A Missionary had been relating to an assembly of Indians many of the miracles contained in the Old Testament, and among others that of Jonah and the Whale. With a great deal of difficulty he prevailed on the Indians to say they believed it; but going on from wonder to wonder, he read to them the account of Noah's going into the Ark with a pair of all the animals on the face of the earth, savage as well as tame. Here one of the Chiefs interrupted him, saying, “No, no, brother, we now do not believe the story of the Big fish, we now know that you tell us lies.”
Yet, notwithstanding this unpardonable want of faith, I am obliged to allow that the religion of these benighted Indians is simple and sublime. They believe in one Great Spirit, the creator and ruler of the Universe. But they worship him only in their hearts, erecting neither temples nor altars to him. Again they have no stated times or forms of prayer ; but they address him, when they are in trouble, or when they are anxious about the success of any of their undertakings..
To show what their ideas upon religion are, I shall here insert a speech of the great chief Te. caughretanego to his adopted son, Colonel Smith, who was taken prisoner by the Indians in 1755, and who remained four years with them.* I must
* Vide Indian Wars in the West, in which work, part of Colonel Smith's interesting pamphlet is published.
first of all mention, that together with the venerable old Chief, he was at one time very nearly starved to death, and was glad to make a meal upon some of the sinews remaining on old bones of foxes and wild cats. After describing this dreadful situation, he says: “I speedily finished my allowance, such as it was, and when I had ended my repast, Tecaughretanego asked me how I felt? I told him that I was much refreshed. He then handed me his pipe and pouch, and desired me to take a smoke. I did so. He said that he had some. thing of importance to tell me, if I were now composed and ready to hear it. I told him that I was ready to hear him. He said : “ The reason I have deferred my speech till now, was because few men are in a right humour to hear good talk, when they are extremely hungry, as they are then generally fretful and discomposed; but as you appear now to enjoy calmness and serenity of mind, I will now communicate to you the thoughts of my heart, and those things I know to be true.
“ Brother, as you have lived with the white people, you have not had the same advantage of knowing, that the Great Being above feeds his people, and gives them their meat in due season, as we Indians have, who are frequently out of provisions, and yet are wonderfully supplied; and that so frequently, that it is evidently the hand of the great Owaneeyo * that doth this: whereas the white
* This is the name of God in their tongue, and signifies the owner and ruler of all things.
people have commonly large stocks of tame cattle, that they can kill when they please, and also their barns and cribs filled with grain. They have not therefore the same opportunity of seeing and knowing, that they are supported by the ruler of Heaven and earth.
“ Brother, I know that you are now afraid that we shall all perish with hunger ; but you have no just reason to fear this.
“ Brother, I have been young, but am now old. I have been frequently under the like circumstances that we are now, and that, some time or other, in almost every year of my life; yet I have hitherto been supported, and my wants supplied in time of need.
“ Brother, Owaneeyo sometimes suffers us to be in want, in order to teach us our dependance upon him, and to let us know that we are to love and serve him; and likewise to know the worth of the favour that we receive, and to make us more thankful.
“ Brother, be assured that you will be supplied with food, and that just in the right time; but you must continue diligent in the use of means; go to sleep, and rise early in the morning, and go a hunting; be strong and exert yourself like a man, and the Great Spirit will direct your way.” · Now the Missionaries could hardly affirm that such beautiful sentiments on religion were inspired by the Devil.
Einnir yor! 92774999119 gitti CHAPTER YVIVE Exile.
I RETURNED from Buffalo to the Falls of Niagara, and in a day or two set off for the little town of the same name (formerly called Newark), situated at the point where the Niagara river enters Lake Ontario. It was the first place that was set on fire by the Americans at the commencement of the last war, with the exception indeed of some large mills that they had already destroyed, above the Falls, and opposite Black Rock. Yet they might have known that this act of cruelty, which as far as I could learn was perfectly uncalled for, was not likely to further the conquest of the Canadas. Like the burning of Washington, it only tended to unite to the people at large, against an enemy who could be guilty of such a crime. Besides, all civilized nations of the present age, recognize it as an axiom, that war is not carried on against individuals, and that consequently the property of individuals ought to be respected. I am glad, however, to be able to state, that Newark has risen from its ashes with increased vigour, and that, although a small town, it is at present in a very flourishing condition.
My reader will perhaps scarcely believe, that while the State of New York is expending millions of dollars on its great canal, the Canadians have so
little enterprise, that although for only 40,000 dollars, a canal might be cút, which would join the Lakes Eriel and Ontario, yet nothing has been done, nor appears likely to be done is 2:1: In most parts of thie world, and even in the United States, a most erroneous opinion has been formed of the elimate of Canada. So strong is the force of prejudice, that the word Canada suggests the idea of a country bound up with ice, covered with snow, and desolated with perpetual winter. Now, on the contrary, the climate, particularly that of Upper Canada, is a very fine one. In the winter indeed there is a great deal of cold ; but then it is a pure clear cold, that enables a person, who is well clad, to take a great deal of agreeable exercise in the open air, uninterrupted by thaws or wet. There is no Spring, but a Summer of intense heat comes on at once. On the sixth of June, at the Falls of Niagara, my pocket thermometer stood at 840 in the shade, and in the sun the heat was nearly in supportable.' On the same day I saw two humming birds on the Canadian side of the river. This, which was only the commencement of the hot weather, may give some idea of the heat in July and August. - . . . .
Mr. Darby * very justly observes : “ The caprices of mankind are difficult to reconcile. With a soil at least equal, and a climate incomparably more