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should be done away from among men belonging to a Christian Nation... I must confess that I am anxious to see the first little Christian Church and Steeple of wood, slowly rising among the wilds; and to hear sound of the first Sabbath-bell, which has tolled here since the Creation.”
As I was returning from visiting some of the Settlers .
about nine or ten miles below, one evening, the lengthened shadows of the setting sun cast upon the buildings, and the consideration that there was now a landmark of Christianity in this wild waste, and an asylum opened for the instruction and maintenance of Indian Children, raised the most agreeable sensations in my mind, and led me into a train of thought which awakened a hope, that, in the Divine compassion of the Saviour, it might be the means of raising a spiritual temple in this wilderness to the honour of His Name. In the present state of the people, I consider it no small point gained, to have formed a religious establishment. The outward walls, even, and spire of the Church, cannot fail of having some effect on the minds of a wandering people, and of the population of the Settlement. During winter, the severity of the weather is such, as sometimes to preclude the Settlers from assembling for Divine Worship; but from the beginning of March till the middle of June, when I left the Colony, my congregation on the Sunday consisted, on an average, of from 100 to 130. The afternoon we devoted to gratuitous instruction of all who would regularly attend; and we had generally 40 or 50 Scholars, including some Adult Indian W. married to Europeans, besides the Indian Children on the Missionary Establishment, With respect to the Indians, they appear to me to be, generally, of an inoffensive and hospitable disposition; but spirituous liquors, like war, infuriate them with the most reyengeful and barbarous feelings. There are acknowledged difficulties in the way of introducing Christianity among them; but the object might be promoted by educating the Half-breed Children, who generally grow up in a sad state of ignorance, degradation, and heathen immorality; while the existing impediments, it is supposed, might be graduall overcome, by active kindness toward the Indians, and well. conducted Missions among them. Mr. West placed the Schools on such a footing, as to secure the benefit of them, not only to the Indian Children whom the Society has primarily in view, but also, on the payment of a small sum annually, including books and all expenses, to the children of the Settlers. Fifteen Indian Boys and
Fifteen Girls are to be received, for maintenance and education at the Society's charge, as soon as they can be collected from the Indians; while the children of the Company's Officers and of the principal Settlers are educated on the payment of 40s. for each per annum, and those of the Company's Servants and of the body of the Settlers for 20s. per annum each—half of these sums to go in aid of the Society's Establishment, and the other half to the Schoolmaster. : The charge of maintaining Indian Children is found to be, at the current price of articles, about 5l. each per annum for clothes, and 91. each for food. A Farm is attached to the Church Mission House, under the care of Samuel West, which is cultivated for the benefit of the Establishment. The Depository of the Auxiliary Bible Society, founded at York Factory Sept. 2, 1821, is kept at the Church Mission House ; where are Bibles and Testaments, supplied by the Parent Bible Society in London, in the following languages:—English, French, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Gaelic, Irish, Esquimaux, and Welch, The 8 Indian Boys and 2 Indian Girls are under the care of a Half-breed Woman named Agathus. The Day Schools were attended by 7 Children of Settlers: and the Sunday Schools, which are held from two o'clock to four in the afternoon, had an average attendance of 16 Boys, 15 Girls, and 8 Adults. Of the progress of the Scholars, Mr. Harbidge thus reports— The two eldest Boys are capable of reading in any part of the Bible correctly, and are j in writing and arithmetic: they have learnt by heart the Church and Watts's Catechisms, and the “Chief Truths of the Christian Religion,” with many Hymns, The other, Children are making progress, in proportion to the time that they have been with us; they are all reading, and learning to write. The two Girls, also, can read; .# are being taught needle-work, and acquiring other habits of industry. Mr. West having sailed, as before stated, from York Factory, Mr. Jones, with the two Indian Boys brought from Fort Churchill by Mr. West, set forward for the Red River; and arrived there about ten days before Mr. West reached the Thames. From the time of Mr. West's leaving the Settlement, Mr. Harbidge, the Schoolmaster had, on Sundays, read the Morning Service and one of the Homilies, and had continued the Day and Sunday Schools. Some particulars of Mr. West's visit to the Esquimaux at and near Fort Churchill will much interest the Members, and awaken a desire to conduct these dwellers in the ends of the earth to the knowledge of the True God and Jesus Christ whom . He hath sent. Of a family which visited Fort Churchill, he writes—
I visited an Esquimaux Family tented at the back of the rock; and was much pleased at seeing them live in the exercise of social affection. The Esquimaux treated his wife with kindness, and there was a constant smile upon her countenance—so opposite to that oppressed and dejected look of the Indian Women in general Having an interpreter with me, I obtained the following information. . Most of the Esquimaux have one wife, but good hunters sometimes two. hey never leave the sick, infirm, and aged, like the Northern Indians, to perish; but always drag them on sledges in winter, and take them in their canoes in summer, till they die. They never burn their dead, but always bury them. They do not know who made the sun, the heavens, the waters, and the earth; nor whether the person who made those things is dead or alive. They know that there is a Bad Spirit among them, which makes them suffer; and they pray to him not to hurt them. When a bad man dies, the Bad Spirit takes him, and puts him into a hole under, ground, where there is always fire; but, when a good man dies, the Moon takes him up to a happy place, where he lives as he did below, only he has less to do. The Esquimaux was fond of saying, that, formerly, they were as White Men-like me. I encouraged him in this idea; but observed, that White Men Now knew a great deal more than Esquimaux, and that many in my country wished them to be taught who imade the world &c. Asking whether they would like to have a White Man live among them to clothe and teach their children, the Esquimaux and his wife appeared to be quite overjoyed at this question—laughed heartily, and said that they wished to know the Grand Spirit; adding, that, if I came to live among the Esquimaux, they were sure that they would treat me well—never need be afraid of them, as they would be much pleased in having their children taught what White Men knew; and would bring provisions, as there was §. of musk-oxen, deer, and salmon. The name of this
squimaux was Achshannerck: we parted cordially, shaking hands; at the same time observing to him, that if White Man came to live in his country, it was not because White Man's country was not better than his, but because White Man loved the Esquimaux, and wished to teach them to live and die happy.
Of another party, Mr. West says—
: As some of the Esquimaux were returning to Chesterfield Inlet, I assembled them, and had the following “TALK,” previously to my giving them a few presents. Standing in the circle, I observed—
I speak true. . I love Esquimaux; and many in my country love Esquimaux, and wished me to see them. As a proof that I loved them, I came far across the sea (where the sun rises) to see them—not to make house and trade with them, but to ask them (and they must speak true) if they should like White Man to make house and live in their country, that he may clothe and teach their children to read White Man's book, and write, and to know the Great Spirit. They all, in one body, expressed a great desire that he should—laughing, and shouting “Heigh Heigh! Augh: Augh !”
Would they treat White Man well? shouted—“Height Heigh 1” - Would they bring him provisions? “Heigh! Heigh!"— adding, that they would not steal from him in their country; a vice of which they are sometimes guilty at the Factory. I then shook hands with them; giving to each individual a claspknife, a little tobacco, and a few beads to take with them for their wives. These Esquimaux reported that they had seen Esquimaux at Chesterfield Inlet, who came from the north, who said that they saw the Discovery Ships, Captain Parry, last summer, when there was no ice; and that they ran away from the coast over the rocks, through fear of them.
The Esquimaux Interpreter, who accompanied Captain Franklin in the Northern Land-Expedition, was very anxious that I should see his countrymen o and, immediately after I had given them the presents, he got a blanket and a large knife, and told me that one of them would put the knife through his body and not die, or fire a ball through his breast leaning upon a gun without being injured. I objected to the deception; and told him that if his countrymen could really conjure, they could conjure the whales to the shores, which were then a in the river opposite the Fort: it was with †.p. that I prevented the exhibition. Mr. West visited another tribe of Esquimaux, about 50 miles north of Fort Churchill, who traverse the coast in the neighbourhood of Knapp's Bay. Of this visit, he says— We pitched our tent with them for two days. I never knew Indians behave so orderly and with so little trouble as they did: they never once came into my tent, without being asked. They partook of their meals with great cordiality and cheerfulness. I invited to my tent seven of the oldest men among them; and repeated to them the questions which I had put to the others: they also appeared quite overjoyed with the expectation of having a White Man among them, to make house, and teach their children; promising to him F. of provisions, and not to steal. I gave to these, also, a nife, with some tobacco each, and some beads to take to their wives. In parting with these Indians to return to Fort Churchill, I felt a lively interest for their eternal welfare; and shall greatly rejoice, if any plan can be devised to accomplish the object of seeking the education of their children. They are an interesting race of people, and appear to me to present a fine field for Missionary Labour; and that, with the hope of much success.
In giving a Summary View of the Society's Proceedings, its efforts for the diffusion of Divine Truth among the Heathen may be noticed— 1. In the CIRCULATION of ExistiNG versions of THE Holy scRIPTUREs, which have been widely disseminated, through its Missionaries, in various quarters of the globe, and in different languages; especially in Egypt, Syria, Greece, and other countries bordering on the Mediterranean— 2. In its TRANslations or REVISIONs of THE whole or PARTs of THE sacred volume in various languages; as the Bullom and Susoo, in Africa; the Malayalim, Tamul, Cin#. and Hinduwee, in India; and that spoken by the inabitants of New Zealand— 3. In its EMPLOYMENT of NATIVEs As READERs of THE Holy schIPTUREs to their uneducated countrymen— 4. In the establishment of PRINTING-PREsses, which, to the number of ten, are actively employed, in various Missionary Stations, in printing the Scriptures and Tracts, and in the supply of Elementary Books to the Schools, 5. In the PRoMoting of EDUCATION, on a large scale, among the Heathen; in the prosecution of which object, the