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the people are absolutely destitute of any kind of religion whatever. They are called by Burmans, "Wild men,' because they have no written language, no religion, avoid the cities, and somewhat like the Aborigines of America, dwell in the wilderness, in mountains and vallies. They are averse to war, and in general are said to be a better race of people than the Burmese. One of their most common sins is intemperate drinking; and as they manufacture their own liquor, this sin is very prevalent. The people live in small villages, five, ten or fifteen miles apart, but are all linked in a sort of brotherhood. The following story, related by my visters to-day, will show the credulity of these people, and also suggest an idea of the facility with which almost any religion, true or false, may be introduced among them. More than ten years ago, a man in the habit of a religious ascetic, visited one of the Karen villages several times, and preached to the people that they must abstain from certain meats-such as pork, fowls, &c.-must practice certain ceremonies, and worship a book which he left with them. He also told them there was one living and true God. About half of the villagers, who were, perhaps, thirty in all, believed the teacher, and espoused his religion. When he had gone, one of the villagers, more devoted than the rest, and possessing a more retentive memory, became teacher to his brethren, and although he cannot read a word in the book which they so much venerate, and knows not even in what language it is written, he is their living oracle, and the defender of their faith. In consequence of their devotedness to this new religion, the poor villagers have suffered much persecution from their Burman neighbors and oppressors, and their lives have been put in jeopardy. The teacher has ventured out to the city only once since he embraced this religion. The persons who related the story, said that as the English were now the inasters of the country, the Burmans would not dare to offer them any violence, and accordingly they promised to request their teacher to bring his book out for me to examine. As one of the men was the chief of the village where this sect resides, I suspect I shall, before long, have an interview with the venerated man. My visiters requested me to go out to their village, and if I could not go, they begged I would allow one of the native christians to go, and explain the
nature and precepts of the Christian religion. I intend to comply with their request. I gave them a tract, and they engaged to get some person to read it to them.
Lord's day. May 4. Upwards of thirty persons collected for worship today. They listened, and appeared to understand a part of what I told them. Several of them were persons who came last Lord's day, which is encouraging.
One of them was an aged female religious mendicant. She listened attentively, and asked several questions.
Deputation from the Karen teacher.
May 13. The messengers from the Karen teacher (mentioned May 1st) arrived to day. They are all relatives of the old man, and are probably among the learned of his tribe. of them reads Burman very well; a qualification which very few Karens possess, though many of them can speak it a little. In most cases, however, I am obliged to employ the Karen Christians, with me, to interpret. The messengers first exhibited their present, (14 duck's eggs) and then delivered the following message:
"The Karen Teacher has sent us to say that he is very ill, and cannot visit the English teacher at present. After the close of the rains, he will come and bring his book to be examined. He desires that his relative, one of the messengers, may be allowed to remain with the English teacher two or three years, to learn the western languages, that he may become a skilful expounder of the divine law. He has received the tract which the English teacher sent, and on hearing it read, he believed it heartily, and wept over it. With his son, who understands Burman, he goes from house to house, and causes it to be read to the people. Several others, also, believe. It would afford great joy, if the English teacher or one of the Christians with him, could come out, and explain the Christian scriptures; many would believe."
I have conversed with my visiters at some length, and they profess firmly to believe our doctrine, and to worship our God. They propose to spend three days with me, and then to return. Their village is three days' journey from Tavoy. They say that my doctrine is much the same theirs; but I apprehend, that though their great teacher told them of an eternal God, the other things he taught are very different from what I teach.
I proposed to send out one of the Christians who are with me, as it is impossible for me to go, during the rains.
Baptism of a Karen.
May 16. Repaired early in the morning to a neighboring tank, and administered Christian baptism to Ko Thah-byoo,the Karen Christian who accompanied us from Maulamying. May we often have the pleasure of witnessing such scenes.
The three Karen visiters were pres ent. They appear to be impressed with the truth of our doctrine, and say they are resolved to worship the eternal God. I begin to feel almost persuaded to believe there is a spark of sincerity in them, and that we shall yet see them walking in the ways of truth. They have urged Ko Thahbyoo to accompany them, so that I have left it for him to choose, whether he will go or stay. He has concluded to go. Perhaps God has a work for him to do among his countrymen. He is very zealous in the cause of declaring
what he knows.
The visiters say they are so persuaded that we are right, that they are willing to leave the merits of their book to my decision. If I pronounce it a bad book, they say they will burn it. They also propose to erect a large zayat, and to invite me out after the rains, when they will call the Karens together from the various quarters, to hear the Gospel. I have a little hope that God is about to do a great work among these sons of the wilderness.
One of the Karens remains with me as a learner. The rest leave this morning. May the Lord go with them.
Lord's day. 18. Fewer people than usual at worship to-day; but one person who has attended several times before, said to the Siamese Christian, "I can see no benefit to be derived from worshipping a dead god, like Gaudama; but from worshipping the living God, which you tell of, some benefit may arise. The Burman priests preach the law of a dead god; this man, (meaning myself) the law of the living God."
Encouragement among Children, &c. After worship, in conversing with the school-boys, I was surprised and gratified to find that one or two of them could repeat correctly a considerable part of the remarks I made dur
ing worship. This encouraged me to hope that my discourses are not so unintelligible as I feared; and also that truth may have a salutary effect on the hearts of the boys. One of them also related part of an address which I delivered at family worship three days ago. It was truly gratifying to perceive how correctly he remembered even slight incidents and occasional allusions and references. The new Karen scholar, who is about 20 years in diligence and perseverance, what of age, seems determined to make up is wanting in soundness and acuteness of intellect.
Lord's day. 20. Ko Thah-byoo finding the rains very violent, and the brooks much swelled, was obliged to abandon his plan of visiting the Karen teacher's village. He returned last evening. During his absence, he met several people, to whom he spoke as he was able. Many of them heard with attention, and two of them accompanied him on his return, in order to gain further instruction. They profess a readiness to receive the Gosrains. pel, and wish me to visit them after the
28. Last evening, two respectable Karens, whom Ko Thah-byoo saw in his late tour, called for further instruction. They live a day's journey from Tavoy. They profess a full belief of the truth of the Gospel. May their professions prove to be sincere.
Buildings, &c. in Tavoy.
June 2. In order to decide on the best place for building a zayat, and a dwelling house, I have lately surveyed the town, going through the length and breadth of it. My spirit has been somewhat stirred at witnessing the idolatry of the people. A priest told me the other day, that the city contains about 50 kyoungs, which are inhabited by about 200 priests. To nearly all the kyoungs, one or more temples are attached, which are stored with images of Gaudama, and various relics of idolatry. Some of these images are 20 feet high, built of brick, plastered and gilt throughout. Some are of wood, and many of alabaster. This beautiful stone is found in large quantities in the vicinity of Ava, and wrought by the hands of the artificer into objects of worship, and sold into various parts of the Burman empire. Some of these images are larger than the life, of one solid piece. In one of
these temples, I counted 35 images, of which about one third were of alabaster. It ought in justice to be said of the images of Gaudama, that they are not obscene and disgusting, as many of the Hindoo images are, but though differing in a few respects from a perfect human figure, they are neither grossly disproportioned, ugly or monstrous. In many cases, the idols with their thrones or pedestals, are set with an immense variety of ornaments, so as to present a very dazzling appearance, especially to the eye of an eastern idolater. The furniture of the temples, though ill arranged, is so set off with looking glass, gold paper, and other tinsel decorations, as to impose upon ignorant persons, and excite their highest admiration. No small degree of taste (oriental taste to be sure,) is displayed also about the kyoungs and pagodas. The kyoungs are the largest buildings in the city, some of them being supported by 120 or 130 posts, besides those connected with verandahs and stair cases. These kyoungs as well as the temples, are filled up with an immense variety of images, sacred relics, &c. &c.
The north-east corner of the city is appropriated almost exclusively to sacred edifices. Mango, jack, and other fruit trees, are thick set throughout the town, so as to present the appearance of an extensive grove, with a few scattering huts; but in the north-east corner the grove becomes a forest, intersected by innumerable paved footpaths leading to various sacred spots. Almost every object the visiter be holds the wells, the walks, the buildings all exhibit marks of idolatryemblems of the deity whom the city worships. Even many of the trees, especially the banyan, have thrones of brick six or eight feet square, and four or five feet high, inserted under them; and on worship days, the sacred trees and thrones are loaded with lilies and flowers offered principally by females, in hopes of obtaining annihilation. The pagodas are the most prominent and expensive of all the sacred buildings. They are solid structures, built of brick, and plastered. Some of them are gilt throughout, whence they are called golden pagodas. The largest pagoda in Tavoy, is, I judge, about 50 feet in diameter, and perhaps 150 feet high.
goda most frequented is not so large. It stands on a base, somewhat elevated above the adjacent surface, and is sur
rounded by a row of more than 40 small pagodas, about six feet high, standing on the same elevated base. In various niches round the central pagoda, are small alabaster images. Both the central and the surrounding pagodas, are gilt from the summit to the base, and each one is surrounded with an umbrella of iron, which is also gilt. Attached to the umbrella of the central pagoda, is a row of small bells or jingles, which when there is even a slight breeze, keep a continual chiming. A low wall surrounds the small pagodas, out side of which are temples, pagodas of various sizes, and other appendages of pagoda worship, sacred trees or thrones, sacred bells to be rung by worshippers, and various figures of fabulous things, creatures and persons mentioned in the Burman sacred books.
Around these is a high wall, within which no devout worshipper presumes to tread without putting off his shoes. It is considered holy ground; outside this wall are perhaps twenty zayats and a kyoung. The whole occupies about an of ground.
The whole number of pagodas in Tavoy is incalculable. Large and small, they probably exceed a thousand. Before leaving America, I used to pray that pagodas might be converted into Christian churches. But I did not know that they were solid monuments of brick or stone, without any cavity or internal apartments. They can become Christian churches only by being demolished and built anew.
Besides the pagodas in town, there are vast numbers in all the surrounding regions. Almost every mountain, and hill, and rising ground, is tipt with a pagoda. The Burmans seem to delight, like the worshippers of Baal, in groves and high places. They build on high mountains and places difficult of access, that the merit of the builders and the worshippers may be the greater.
When I look at all these strong holds of sin and idolatry, my sinking heart says, "Baal's prophets are many, and I am alone. What can I do against so many?"
But the Scriptures sustain my spirits, by assuring me, that more are they that be with us, than they that be with them. Relying on the divine promises, I can rejoice in the full conviction that ere long the praises of our God will be sung over all these
would enter the field, who might be more useful than we have been. I have ardently desired and fervently prayed for the salvation of the poor Creeks-for some unknown cause the blessing has been withheld. Yet the Lord has in a small degree blessed our poor efforts. To his name be all the glory.
Mr Compere has purchased a quarter section of land near Montgomery, where we shall reside for a season. Mr C. and Charles D. Mallary and our two servants left here on Monday last for that place, with the intention of pleted we shall be obliged to bid adieu raising a log cabin; when it is comto this cultivated spot, where we have enjoyed a sweet mixture of joy and sorrow. The Indian children are going with us. We are resolved to work hard and to fare hard for their benefit. And O may the divine Being bless our feeble endeavors and provide for them and us.
John Davis is too much grieved to occupy these buildings after we leave. It is a matter of deep regret that nothing farther can be done for the improvement of him and Charles. The latter is an industrious and worthy youth. Mr C. is endeavoring to obtain a situation for him near to our new home, to which he can resort on the Lord's-day and at other seasons.
Capt. Walker returned from the Arkansas about a month since. His account of that country is very favorable. He informs us that there are now about 1400 emigrants, from this nation, settled in the west. If provision is made, it is supposed that a large number will move there this spring. You will be gratified to hear that John Reed and Richard Furman,* bear a good character. They are both in the west. It is said they conduct themselves with
EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM MRS propriety, particularly R. F. This af
Withington Station, Apr. 4, 1829. We have declined going to South Carolina, and I am glad to say the way appears lighter and plainer. To give up the mission entirely; to leave our little church in this land where the heathen rage and imagine a vain thing; and to abandon the few dear children, who are too much civilized to be happy among their savage relations; are difficulties to which we cannot be wholly reconciled. We entertained a hope that some more active missionary
fords us much satisfaction.
The case of our colored friends deserves compassion. Anxious to enjoy gospel privileges, their spirits are much
depressed at the idea of our leaving them. They would rather submit to any thing than lose the word of God. Pray for these few Ethiopian brethren and sisters, that the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, may dwell with them to establish their minds and direct them in the midst of much darkness. I hope Mr C. and John Davis will be able to visit them sometimes after we leave here.
The Indians of the Ufalee Town much regret our departure from the Nation. We are much attached to them. They are worthy of attention. Should nothing prevent, Mr C. will occasionally visit them. May the Lord reconcile us both to his will. Mr C. is endeavoring to do the best he can with the property at this place.
Eliza Greene, a full Cherokee, fourteen years of age, can read, write, and cast accounts, works well at the needle, is able to cut out and make up any garment worn by Indian men or women, can knit, spin, weave, and cook well. She learns readily when at school, but is too much attached to the old Indian customs when she gets home, which greatly retards her progress.'
It must gratify all those who are contributing to the reformation and conversion of the Indians, to know that education, the arts of civilized life, and the Gospel of Christ, are making progress among these untutored tribes. The school at present contains twentyone pupils.
We have been favored with the
perusal of a brief sketch of the pupils at Valley Towns School, from Sept. 1, 1827, to Dec. 31, 1829. In this sketch are exhibited the names, charac
ter, and proficiency, of nearly 50 students. Many of the pupils have been named after their patrons.
SAULT DE ST. MARIE.
from November to February, last, is Mr Bingham's journal, at St. Maries, received. He continues to preach to the Indians, and to the United States
garrison, with interesting prospects;
and the school contains on an average about 30 pupils. We extract the fol
of the children have learned to speak lowing statement of the religious ex
English, and have made encouraging progress in writing, reading, and arithmetic; and the females have acquired a knowledge of domestic duties. Some, after exhibiting a gratifying progress in their studies, have been clandestinely taken from the school by their relations; but evinced their attachment to their studies, by again returning to the school, when opportunity present ed. Some have given pleasing evidence of Christian character, and made a profession of religion. We extract a description of two individuals.
'Ann Judson, a Catawba, is just removed from us. She is a member of the church, can read, write, and cast accounts, work well at her needle, can spin and weave, and is ready at house work. We are well satisfied with her experience and conduct, and quite sorry to part with her; but her father expects to leave the nation, and wishes to take her with him.'
ercises of one of the Indians.
"Jan. 17, 1829. This evening Shaw came in to relate to me the while engaged in my studies, Thomas state of his mind. He said he had formerly lived in sin. That after some death of his little child, and for a short time his mind was arrested by the time he felt concerned about himself; but these impressions soon wore off, and he pursued his former course, here, when his mind was again awauntil a few weeks before my arrival kened by the death of another child; his former life was then laid open to his view, and his sins appeared like a heavy burden; while laboring under this burden, it was impressed on his mind that God designed it for his good, and that it was intended to reclaim him from sin. He said he was also led to think, that if the child had lived, he should have placed his affections upon it, and not on his Maker. He said it was not only the case with himself, but also with the other Indians, that since they had attended our meetings, a little light began to dawn into