Project Canterbury

The Nepowewin Station.

Church Missionary Intelligencer, May, 1854, pages 110-120.

WE continue the Rev. Henry Budd's journal of his residence at this new station from page 96 of our last Number.

"Oct. 5, 1852--Some Indians arrived to-day from the Plains. When I went over to see what Indians they were, I found that some of them were already far gone in liquor, so that it was impossible for me to say any thing to them.

"Oct. 6--The Indians who came yesterday came over to see what we were doing, and, being in a better state than they were yesterday, I resolved to say something to them this time; but oh, what ignorance we have to combat with! How difficult to make them understand any one thing with regard to spiritual truths! How true that 'the natural man receiveth not he things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto Him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.'

"Oct. 7, 1852--Mahnsuk left this place to-day, having engaged to guide the Company's fishermen to the fishing lake. His wife, however, and the other old women, are still here.

"Oct. 8--We are all living in tents, and these not our own. There is not one stick cut down for my house yet, and the winter is setting in. The tent is cold and smoky: there is no doing any thing in it.

"Oct. 11--Very cold this morning, the ground having frozen hard last night. I went out to the woods, and began squaring the first beam for my house, in order to have some wood ready when the house that the two men are working at is finished. I do not expect to get into this house before the month of December, so that I must give the men all the assistance I possible can in the buildings. In the evening the very welcome news of 'The fall boat! the fall boat!' sounded in my ears. I received a packet of letters from friends in England, which I read with the deepest interest, and with tears of gratitude. To think that so many kind friends should remember me in this lonely spot, and that they should all be willing to help me and assist my poor countrymen, overcame me altogether. I thought, what blessed fruits Christianity can produce! Here are gentlemen and ladies, whom I have never seen, and who know me only by name, and yet have thought of me as their friend and brother in the Lord Jesus Christ. I 'thanked God, and took courage.' Well may I bear the heat and burden of the day, and even the cold my native soil, in the cause of Him who has done infinitely more for me, when I have the aid of the prayers and good wishes of so many kind friends, as well as the support of their liberal contributions.

"Oct. 13--All hands went out to cut down the wood for my house. This house will do for me to live in, and serve for a meeting-house at the same time.

"Oct. 14--We all went out to carry the wood to the spot where our house is to be; but we soon found that the green poplars, cut off at twenty-four feet long and left whole, were too much for us to carry, as we were only three in number. We set to work and made a little carriage with two wheels, and harnessed seven dogs in it: by this means we were able to get the sticks brought to the place with some ease to ourselves.

"Oct. 17: Lord's day--After we had had morning prayer in the tent, we all went over and assembled in the place 'where prayer is wont to be made.' There are no heathen Indians at all about the Fort now: they are all away to their wintering ground.

"Oct. 18--I started this morning with one of my men, Benjamin, in a canoe, to go and see the Forks. I was anxious to know whether there was a more eligible place for a Mission station than the point we are on; and the Forks being recommended by the Rev. R. Hunt, I was the more anxious to see it before we did much at our point.

Oct. 19--The river being very shoal and full of rapids, we only reached the Forks this day at ten A.M. The place has indeed a beautiful appearance. I was quite captivated with it. Here the river Kisiskatchewun forks, the one branch forking to the south, and hence called 'the south branch,' and the other south-west, towards Fort Carlton. The point on the west side of the river, just at the Forks, is a nice level spot, and every way, as regards situation and soil, calculated to form a beautiful site for a Mission station. But there is no wood at all upon it, the whole point consisting of plain ground, quite bare of wood, with here and there a few small poplars scattered. The point which Mr. Hunt recommended is a very nice situation too, but there has been a fort upon it formerly, which has ruined the best of the wood, and a fire has consumed the rest, and left nothing but a few stumps standing. Having examined the place thoroughly, and gone up every hill which commanded a view up and down the river, we embarked in our canoe, and ran down to Fort Nepowewin in a few hours, the river being so full of rapids, and the current running so swiftly.

"Oct. 21, 1852--The foundation of my house has been laid while I was off to the Forks, and the walls are going up slowly. In the evening we had the satisfaction of seeing two young men from the Cumberland Station come to give us some help, which we certainly needed very much. I received by them a bale of prints--cottons, handerkchiefs, shawls, &c.--which have been contributed to my station by the people of the Middle Church at Red River, and which will be a very substantial help.

"Oct. 23--Having four men working at the house, two of them building up the wall, and the other two getting the wood ready for them, we shall get on now.

"Oct. 24: Lord's-day--We form quite a little party now, crossing the river for the morning service. Everybody about the Fort attended: it is quite customary for the old women to attend. Old Mahnsuk is at the fishing lake, and there is no arrival of other Indians from any part. We expect, however, that soon we shall have a large party of Plain Indians.

"Oct. 28--Three Indians arrived from our side of the river. They belong to Mahnsuk's party: one of them is a son of the old man. They came into my tent the same evening they arrived. One of them, who is a great conjuror, and Mahnsuk's son-in-law, is, I think, much prejudiced against Christianity. He, however, did not say much while I talked to them of its truths.

"Oct. 30--The three Indians who came in on Thursday are gone to-day. I had several conversations with the conjuror during his stay, for he was often in my tent.

"Oct. 31: Lord's-day--With some difficulty we got over to the other side, and assembled in the room which we have occupied since our arrival here. The ice is driving down the river quite thick, and is an intimation that the river will soon take. In the afternoon the children came into my tent to say their lessons. We shall have more children from the Fort as soon as the river is convenient for them to cross.

"Nov. 4--We were startled in the evening by the report of several guns away up the road towards the Plains: soon after, we could see people coming down the hills and making towards the Fort. It was a party of Plain Indians bringing some provisions to us. The party belongs to an old man named George Sutherland, called by the Indians 'Ahkahyahseü,' 'Englishman.' He is the headman or chief of this party. He is the son of a Mr. Sutherland formerly of the Hudson's Bay Company's service. The old man has only one hand, the other having been blown off by the bursting of a gun while hunting the moose deer. He has a large family of his own--eight sons and eight daughters, sixteen children, and all living. His children are all grown up, and have numerous families. He was formerly the inhabitant of this place, and on this same point had lived with his family in a little house, and had tried to cultivate the soil by growing some potatos, which he said grew to a large size. Some traces of his garden, &c., are still to be found within a few yards of our house.

"He came to visit me on the evening of his arrival, and sat in my tent till late at night. I told him why I had come to live among them, to teach them the right way of serving God: I was not come for the purpose of trade, but to teach them Christianity. I spoke to him of man's fall, and the mercy of God in restoring Him to His favour. He listened to all this with an air of surprise, and said, 'I never heard the like in all my life before;' and then he said, 'I wish to hear you preach and pray, because I never heard of these things before; but it is now so late and the river is so bad to cross, that I am afraid to stop much longer.' I prevailed on him, however, to stay some time, until I had shown him a little more of the mercy of God in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. I then got two of the young men to put him across the river, for these Plain Indians hardly know how to get into a canoe.

"Nov. 7: Lord's-day--The ice is driving down so thick that we could not venture to cross the river with our frail bark. We therefore held the services of this day in our tent, with our own people only.

"Nov. 11--We are getting on slowly with our house, and have now got it wall high, the beams all in, and ready for the roofing. The last night was exceedingly cold, and the river frozen over strong enough for any man to cross on foot.

"Nov. 14: Lord's-day--The river being strong enough to cross, we all went over to the other side for the morning service. Everybody that was about the place attended, but here are no Indians at all near the place. The three old women who have been at the Fort since the fall join us every Sunday, and I hope that old Mahnsuk will soon come home from fishing to join us also.

"Nov. 19--The old man Mahnsuk is come home this day from the fishing, along with the Company's people. We shall have at least one Indian [illegible.]

"Nov. 20--Mahnsuk came over to see me this day, and had many a long story to tell. He is still as friendly to me as ever, and with regard to Christianity I think he is less prejudiced, for he can now sit quietly and listen without betraying unbelief or prejudice, which he so evidently manifested by his answers and by his manner at my first conversations with him.

Nov. 21, 1852: Lord's-day--I went to the Indian house before the morning service commenced at the Fort, to see the old man. I found him in bed: his foot had swollen greatly, so that he was quite unable to sit up, much less to walk about. He got cold in his foot coming home from the fishing, and walking so much made it worse. He told the women to go in with us and attend the morning service.

"Nov. 24--Mahnsuk, by means of a stick, was able to come across the river this day, by which means I have more opportunities of speaking with him on the subject of religion than I could otherwise have; and it is evident he must be less prejudiced when he can come so often here, where he must hear more or less of Christianity.

"Dec. 4--I was glad to exchange my tabernacle for the house this afternoon, I was so tired of the tent in which I have been glad to take shelter for a quarter of the year. I found myself quite comfortable to what I was in the tent, and hope to be able to do something soon towards translations, and teaching the children a little every day. The stock of provisions that we got from George Sutherland's party is getting small, and we have been so busy with our houses the whole time that we could not send to the fishing. The two young men who came to our assistance from Cumberland Station deserted us when we were most in need of them, and even after they had been engaged, and taken some goods for the fishing. No Indians coming in with provisions, and there being no likelihood that they will before spring, the only thing we can do now is to send the two men out to the Plains for some buffalo meat; and if that fails to supply us with enough, then we must take our nets, and all go to live at the fishing lake.

"Dec. 5: Lord's-day--Mahnsuk and the old women being present at the morning service with us, and all the Fort people, we nearly filled the little room where we are accustomed to hold our morning service every Sunday. In the afternoon the children came in for their lessons. We have an addition to our school--a boy from the Fort, who reads the New Testament very well, and repeats the Church Catechism. We have now three children in the Testament class, and three more joining two letters together.

"Dec. 7--The weather is now very sever; our houses, having been plastered in cold weather, are extremely cold. Joseph Turner, being alone while Benjamin is gone to the Plains, has enough to do to keep the fires going. It is difficult to get any writing done while the ink is freezing in the pen.

"Dec. 9--We were out all day getting wood for sledges and snow-shoes: these things are indispensably necessary: without them we are not able to go anywhere. No Indians arriving, we have only Mahnsuk and a few old women, who have been compelled to stop because they were not able to go about with the rest the last winter. Thus they are obliged to stay, and by that means they are receiving instruction daily, which they would not get if they had gone off with the rest. Of these, thank God, I have some hopes. May God condescend to bless my poor labours here, in making these the first-fruits of the Nepowewin Mission, to the glory of His great name!

"Dec. 10--It has been extremely cold the whole of this day. The ice in my room is a good inch thick on the walls; the walls are quite white with the rime and frost. I long to see some Indians coming in; and if I had the means of traveling I would go and tent with them, in order to be able to impart some instruction to them.

"Dec. 18--I went over to the Fort, to visit Mahnsuk and the old women. They are always glad when we go into their house. The old man began to tell me some stories about old times, about his hunts, and how the Company treated him while he was able to do something for them. Poor man, he is old and greyheaded, and unable to go anywhere without his stick or crutches; and yet his mind is altogether absorbed in his hunting exploits. I endeavoured to lead his mind away from such vanities to something more profitable, and which more immediately concerns him now. 'Those times are past now, and never can come back,' I said: 'you ought to try and forget what is past, and which you cannot recall, and employ your mind in thinking of what is before you, and which you cannot avoid.' 'Yes,' he said; 'but I am not so old but I could do something yet: it is not age only, but it is this foot'--stretching out the sore foot--'it is this foot that is pulling me down more than anything.' 'Yes,' I said, 'but that teaches us of the weakness and frailty of our bodies, and reminds us that not only the members, but the whole body, is sinking fast into the grave, and therefore we ought to strive for that life beyond the grave which is more durable.' He did not reply again, but allowed me to go on, listening very attentively. The old women were all present, and seemed to pay some attention to our discourse.

"Dec. 19, 1852: Lord's-day--Mahnsuk and the old women were again present with us at the morning service. The word of God cannot fail of having its effect, and taking hold of their minds. They listen to the offer of mercy through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, preached to them in their own tongue. After the morning service is over, the old man generally follows me home, and gives me an opportunity of preaching the word to him 'in season, out of season.' I trust in the Lord that the word will, sooner or later, take a firm hold of his mind.

"Dec. 20--Three young men arrived in the evening, wishing to see their trader, but he has not yet come home, nor is our Benjamin home since the 4th of this month. I hope they have not met with any bad accident among the Indians. It is nothing thought of among the Plain Indians, especially among the Stone Indians, when they happen to meet with a few men unarmed, to strip them of whatever they have, and think they are favouring them to send them away with barely their lives.

"Dec. 21--The young men who arrives yesterday have been to see me to-day. They are not Plain Indians; they are what we call Thick-wood Indians. They do not in the least manifest any prejudice towards the gospel. None of the young people, I find, are opposed to the doctrines of the gospel; and if the old people would leave them to their own way, I am of opinion that they would be brought in much sooner than the old; but alas! what influence these old conjurors and medicine-men have over the simple-minded young people! It is astonishing what absurdities they can make them believe.

"Dec. 22--Two Saulteaux Indians arrived here from Fort Pelly, bringing some letters for Mr. M'Gillivray. They came to my house immediately on their arrival, and spent the whole of the evening there. The Saulteaux are very sly and cunning men; they will say that they believe everything that Christianity teaches--'It is all true, it is all true,' they say--but they no sooner turn their backs than they immediately change their confession, and use every means to hinder the spread of the gospel among the less prejudiced Crees.

"I could not but feel deeply humbled, when I called to mind that this day makes two years since I have taken upon me the vows of ordination to the ministry of our Lord. When I considered how little I have done, comparatively speaking for the innumerable mercies I have received from the hand of my good God, I could not feel easy until I had prostrated myself at the footstool of His mercy, and there humbly craved forgiveness at His hand for my past failings and unprofitableness in His service, and likewise begged His grace to enable me to be faithful and diligent in future.

"Dec. 23--In the evening we were much relieved from anxiety of mind by the return of our man Benjamin at last. He gave me an account of George Sutherland's favourable disposition towards us and the Mission. He has been remarkably kind to Benjamin, and fed him gratuitously while at his tent. He also sent some provisions to me by him, as a present, and promised to furnish me with all the provisions we shall want for the place during the winter. This is the same old man from whom alone we got a supply of provisions in the beginning of last month, and who desired to hear the word of God.

"Dec. 24--A large band of the Thick-wood Indians arrived in the Fort in the evening. They are come in starving: they cannot kill the moose-deer. The party belong to Wulluck Twatt, Mahnsuk's brother, who manifested such an aversion to Christianity when I first arrived here, and, at my first interview with him, told me plainly that he thought he would never embrace Christianity, because he should have no chance of seeing his friends who have died before him.

"Dec. 25: Christmas-day--The band of Indians who came in yesterday are now at the Fort: Some of them came over to our house this morning. They certainly look to be starving. One of them asked me if one of our boys could go with him to the woods, to help him to get some wood for snow-shoes. I told him, 'No, I cannot allow any of our people to do any thing of the kind on this day: we are preparing to cross the river to hold divine service at the Fort, and if you would come with us, rather than go to the woods, you would hear something that you never heard of in your life.' Curious to know what that could be, he promised to come. 'I will not go to the wood to-day,' he said: 'I will go with you, and hear you asking for life. Among the many things the Indians pretend to do, and with all their rites and ceremonies, their long speeches and what not, I never hear them asking for life in the manner that you do, nor yet asking life for anybody else but themselves alone. I think it is only in your religion that the praying-people ask for life, not for themselves only, but for every body else, even for strangers.'

"This man was present at our morning prayer, and seemed then to pay great attention to what was said; and it must have been then that he was struck with the manner in which the praying-people pray. All the Indians came in, and were present in the service this morning: the little room could not hold them all. I was surprised to see old Wulluck among those who came in. I addressed them from Luke ii. 10, 11.

"Dec. 26, 1852: Lord's-day--We went over to the Fort at the usual time, in hopes that we would have as good a congregation as we had yesterday, but I found but few that were in a fit state for the worship of God. The greater part of them had been drinking the whole of last night, and of course were unfit this morning for the service of God. They have lost a sermon this day on account of the rum, and who can say whether they will have the opportunity of hearing another? There were, however, some of them who attended, and were present at the morning service.

"Dec. 27--Wulluck, with several others, came over to my house, begging for something to eat. Old Wulluck is altered very much: he is not the same man at all. He has exchanged the independent and haughty air which he manifested last fall, for a dependent and submissive disposition. I was informed that when Wulluck left this place in the fall, he had cautioned his brother Mahnsuk to beware and never come near the praying-people, meaning us, or have anything to do with them, nor ever think about Christianity. But Mahnsuk did not value the caution, and soon forgot it; and in return he had sent and desired some of the Indians going to his brother's tent to tell him this message--'Tell my brother Wulluck that I cannot keep from going to the praying-people's place: I am there almost every day. I attend their services and worship every Sunday. I find nothing bad there.' This is Mahnsuk's message to his brother Wulluck, and I think that Wulluck must have heard it.

"Dec. 28--The Indians who came in a few days ago are gone off to-day to the Plains to try the buffalo. They were always in my house for the time they stayed. Wulluck Twatt did not go with them: he is obliged to stay until he gets somewhat stronger. In this way Providence seems to place within reach of the offer of mercy those who are the least disposed even to give a hearing to the doctrines of the gospel. We have both Mahnsuk and his brother Wulluck now within reach: the one is laid up with a sore foot, and the other by starvation.

"Dec. 30--Wulluck Twatt comes to my house almost every day, but alas! it is not that he should be fed with the bread which cometh down from heaven, but with the bread which perisheth. Another party of Indians arrived in the evening.

"Dec. 31--I can do little more than sit with the Indians who come into my house every hour of the day. I do not find that this party is much opposed to the gospel.

"The last day of the year: what a solemn thought! The old year ready to vanish away, never more to be seen for ever; and the new to succeed, with, perhaps, fresh sins and temptations. May God give me grace to wait with all humility and patience for the outpouring of His Holy Spirit upon these dry bones, that they may live 'when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord!'

"Jan. 1, 1853--In the morning I called into my house all the men of the Fort, and our own men, to bid them a happy new-year's morning. All the Indians that were about the place came in, Mahnsuk and Wulluck with them. We treated the Indians with a dish of tea and a few cakes, and the Fort people with a little wine and some cakes. In the afternoon we all went over to the Fort, and dine with Mr. and Mrs. M'Gillivray.

"Jan. 5--The Indians who came in a little before new-year's day are gone off to-day towards the Plains to live on the buffalo: only Mahnsuk and the same old women are left. One of the Indians going off--Mahnsuk's step-son--said to his mother, Mahnsuk's wife, 'Mother, you have frequented the praying-people's house for the one half of this winter, and you have attended their services regularly, as one of themselves: do not let us hinder you and my father to do as you like. If you like to join them you can do what you please: I will not love you the less for that. It is evident,' he went on to say, 'that the religion which they teach will prevail.' If such is the real state of their minds, is it not strange that they do not embrace Christianity at once? I can account for it only in one way--that they are kept back by the Saulteaux Indians, who pretend to so much magic, and such great power in their medicine. These men will, by a word only, put a whole camp of the Crees in awe.

"Jan. 11--Joseph Turner came home to-day from a trip to the Plains. He has brought home provisions for the use of the Mission, and a good account still of George Sutherland, who brought him into his tent, and assisted him to get the provisions from his sons, after he had supplied him with what he had of his own. He was also inquiring about Christianity, asking Turner a few questions about it.

"Jan. 13, 1853--Joseph Turner started again this morning, for his second trip to the Plains for provisions. He will have to pass the next Sunday in George Sutherland's tent. I gave him a paper to read to the old man while there with him. The old man had asked Turner, at the first trip, if it was likely that I would be going to their camp, and give them a visit during the winter, expressing a wish that I would do so. The letter contained a few useful hints, which I thought they would understand best, and by which they would all know why I had come to live among them, besides giving them a little insight of their lost and ruined state by nature, as well as of the mercy of God in Christ, in offering them pardon in case they repent and turn to the Lord; and exhorting them to embrace the gospel of our blessed Lord, and believe in His name, while as yet he waiteth to be gracious, before he shut up His kindness in displeasure, and swear in His wrath that they shall not enter into His rest.

"Jan. 24--I commenced this morning a day-school with the children, which I intend, God willing, to continue all the rest of the winter and all the spring. I have only five children to begin with.

"Jan. 25--I took a walk over to the other side, to see how our old friend Mahnsuk is getting on. The old man and the old women live together in the Indian house. They are always glad to see me in there. But oh, how ignorant they still are of the things of God! What labour to make them understand one single doctrine in the word of God--to make them feel that they are condemned sinners, liable to the just pleasure of Almighty God! How unconscious they appear to be, though standing at the brink of endless eternity! May that Spirit, who first called the light out of darkness, condescend to exert His almighty power in calling to life these dead! Vain is the weak effort of man without His enlivening influence.

"Jan. 26--We are busy preparing our sledges, &c., for our trip to Fort Carlton, which we hope to make after the return of the express. May the presence of God go forth with us, and His Spirit guide us, and make our way prosperous, and incline the minds of the people and the Indians of Carlton to receive 'the truth as it is in Jesus!'

"Feb. 2--A party of Indians arrived at the Fort in the afternoon. A few minutes after, we got intimation that they were Stone Indians, and that it would be advisable to take in every thing that we had lying about, and put it under lock and key, lest we should lose it. The Stone Indians are the worst Indians that come to the Fort Nepowewin; they are hardly admitted within the gates, even for trade. They are notorious for stealing; and I believe that the boldest horse-stealers among them make the greatest chiefs.

"Feb. 3--The express arrived this morning, on its way downwards from Carlton. The Stone Indians who came yesterday gave me a visit to-day. They are the first that I have ever seen of the Stone Indians. They understand but very few words in Cree, and therefore all our conversation with them was by signs of the hands. I do not think, however, that their language is very difficult: it is, at least, not difficult in pronunciation. They invited me to go back with them to their camp, where there are nearly 100 tents of them. But judging that they thought that I was merely a trader, and was come here for no other purpose than to trade with the Indians, and that they wanted me to go back with them to trade what they had, of course I would not consent to go with them.

"Feb. 4--The Stone Indians went away early this morning. We have nearly go ready for our visit to Carlton: we hope to start next Monday.

"Feb. 7--We started early this morning for Carlton. As no Indians about the place could be got to guide us there, I was forced to take the only two men I have, Joseph Turner being well acquainted with the road. We had nice traveling on the river, and got up above the Forks the same evening, where we encamped. A remarkably cold night--a sign that we shall not get much sleep.

"Feb. 10--We arrived at Carlton at noon, and found all the people well. No Indians about the Fort: only two tents are to be seen outside the gates. Some of the men are away in two directions for buffalo meat. I was struck to see so many people and children about the Fort. When the evening came we assembled the people together to hold our evening prayers in my lodgings. Most of them cane in, and listened with much attention while I endeavoured to explain a portion of God's word to them. Some Indian women were standing at the door with their children.

"Feb. 11--I went into all the houses this morning, to see what children there were at the Fort, and to distribute among them a few little books that I had brought for them. I had also brought some Bibles and Testaments for the people, and these I wished to give them. I find there are no less than twenty-five children at the place, belonging to the Fort. Besides this number, there are other children belonging to the hunters, who are heathen Indians. All these children are growing up in ignorance, no one to teach then even to read a little. I do not find that there are any of them that can read at all, much less have they any knowledge of even the rudiments of Christianity. Here, then, is a spot which calls forth the sympathy of all Christians, and which should excite feelings of compassion towards these children growing up in ignorance, differing little from the children of the savage.

"If there was a school established in the Fort, as Mr. Spencer said, these children would make a goodly number to start with, and in a short time the school might be even increased. I find there are only two children to be baptized. All the rest have been baptized by a Roman-Catholic priest, who passed on his way to Red River last spring. If the priest had not passed here before me I should have had thirteen children to baptize now. We had still more people at the evening prayer than we had the last evening.

"Feb. 12, 1853--I went out to the two tents that were outside the gates, where a very old man lives. I went into both the tents: the one belongs to the old man, and the other to the family of one of the hunters. Some little children were to be seen playing about the tent doors. Nothing but ignorance is to be witnessed all over. In the evening we assembled the people again in my lodgings for the evening prayer. The Indian women are crowding about the door, and the room is already full. The people are very anxious to hear the word of God. We have still more this evening than we had the two preceding evenings. One of the men, who was a Roman Catholic, said to me in the evening, 'I was glad when you came, because I thought it was our bishop from Isle-à-la-Crosse. We have much need that some one, either priests or ministers, give us visits to instruct us, for we are very ignorant and wild.' Now, what must be the state of the people with regard to religion, when this is the confession of one who evidently knows very little of Christianity?

"Feb. 13: Lord's-day--We assembled in the big hall for the morning service. I think that almost all the Protestants came in, and some of the Roman Catholics. The Indian women are still crowding the door. In the evening service, after the second lesson, I baptized the two children.

"Feb. 14--I remained still at the Fort this day; but we were getting ready to start to-morrow.

"Feb. 15--We took our leave of the people of Carlton, and started on our way home, intending to try and get to the Nepowewin by the end of the week.

"Feb. 18--We arrived at our house at noon, and were thankful to find every body well, both in our own establishment and also at the Fort.

"March 6: Lord's-day--The Company's men being all home, and our own people together, made up a full congregation this day at the morning service. Mahnsuk came over to the evening service, and when that was over I had a long conversation with him on baptism. He was intimating that he would soon try to go away now, and endeavour to pay at least some of his debt to the Company. He was able to walk about now a little, and the spring coming on rapidly. I was anxious to know the state of his mind touching baptism, and whether it was likely that he would be baptized before I left the Nepowewin for Cumberland. 'I have thought of baptism before you mentioned it,' he said, 'and have come to this conclusion--that the next fall, if I live to that time, will be soon enough for me to take the vows of baptism, when, perhaps, there will be some of my children to be baptized with myself.' I would not insist upon his being baptized at once, as he had made up his mind to wait till the fall. I encouraged him to that determination, and in the mean time to endeavour to know more and more of the praying religion, and of the nature and design of the ordinance of baptism. I also cautioned him to beware of the other Indians, lest they draw away his mind from the thoughts of religion. He seemed to be firmly determined to stand to his resolutions. The old women, who have regularly attended the means of grace for the whole winter, I thought to have baptized with Mahnsuk; but the old man deferring his baptism to a later period has changed by plans with regard to the rest.

"March 20: Lord's-day--We have at length had a band of Indians come in, some of George Sutherland's sons. They have come to the Fort for the purpose of trade. The old man, I hear, is very well.

"March 25: Good-Friday--At the usual hour we all went over to the Fort. All the people of the Fort, and our own, made up the small congregation to commemorate the sufferings and death of our blessed Lord. In the evening some Indians arrived, and intimated that there was a large band of Plain Indians coming to-morrow morning.

"March 26--The band of Plain Indians, of whose coming we were told yesterday, arrived this morning. We could hear several shots of guns some time before we could see them: this was intended to give the trader an alarm of their near approach, that they might be in readiness to receive them. Soon after the shots, we could see them coming down the hills, a great number of horses laden, and dogs hauling with poles in the shape of an angle: a large wooden hoop rests on these two poles, and a sort of network within the goop to keep up the load. The chief man of them came foremost, with eight or ten men by his side, the rest of the men following behind, and the women and children last of all. Most of the men had on buffalo robes, very white: some had their robes red, and others striped. They are all Crees and Stone Indians together. I have not seen such a large band come here before. We are obliged to lock up every thing in the store, for fear we should lose it; and, besides, we must watch our houses, our store, and every thing, in case they should come and plunder us; though, with all our watching, they can take away any thing they like of they are so disposed, for we are quite at their mercy. The Company have a wall all around their houses, with strong gates, bars, locks, &c., to keep them out if they get troublesome; and, even with all that, they have to watch the Fort the whole of every night while such a large band of Plain Indians are about the place. Some of them came over to our house nearly as soon as they arrived, but most of them were of the Stone Indians. Each of them carries some means of defence, and they never let that go out of their hand: when they come into a house they have their weapons in their hands all the time. They are kept in such a continual state of alarm by the other tribes, that their weapons must be always ready. They put them under their pillows when they go to bed.

"March 27, 1853: Easter-day--Every place is full of Indians this morning. The Fort is swarming with them, both outside and inside the gats: our houses are all full with them. I sent over to ask if the morning service could be held in the Fort as usual, but I soon got word that it was impossible. We immediately commenced to hold the morning service in our own house, but it was with difficulty that we got through it. The house was crowded with the Stone Indians: they came in bands to my house to trade provisions the whole of the day, and it was with much difficulty that I could prevail with them to take it all away. The chief of the band came over to my house in the evening. He is a Cree Indian, and seems to be an intelligent man. I might have had a good conversation with him, but he was so drunk that I could not enter on any thing serious or important. They keep filling our house the whole of the evening, so that we have not leisure even to read a little. Thus have we spent this most solemn day. How very differently our Christian friends must have spent it! I could have wished that these Indians had not been here to-day, and we had been allowed, this day in particular, to worship in our usual place.

"March 28--We still have all the Indians about us the most part of this day. Our houses are all crowded with them, and we can do nothing else but watch them. In the evening, however, this band went away, and only some of the Thick-wood Crees remain about the Fort. I went over to see them starting; but the river is already difficult to walk on, and in a few days we shall not be able to cross at all until the ice breaks up, and the river is clear.

"March 29--In the evening two or three young men came on horseback to the Fort, to inform us that there is another band of Plain Indians just at hand. It is the custom of these Plain Indians to send some young men on to the Fort when they come near, and halt for some time when they have got within a mile of the Fort, until then young men have brought them some tobacco, ammunition, &c. When they have smoked a good pipeful, and the chief has given them a long speech, respecting how they are to act and how to behave, then they hoist their flag and leave that spot. They come to the Fort gate with their flag flying, carried by one of the young men, who walks immediately behind the chief. Then the Company's flag is hoisted as an acknowledgement of respect to the chief, some powder is given out to the men, and all are supplied with a gun in their hand to fire some salutes to the chief, which he is ready to return by the young men at his side. The chief comes on walking foremost at a very slow pace, all the rest behind coming at the same step, walking three and four abreast. Behind the chief there was a numerous train of horses laden, and dogs also, with some light riders among them. The chief halted when he came within a few hundred yards from the front gates, until most of the men had come up to him: then one of the young men appointed by the chief raised a song of peace, in which all the rest immediately joined. The sound of so many strong voices made the very woods to echo in the calm of the evening. When they had sung three songs, the chief moved forward, all the rest following, till he came within a few yards of the gate, where they halted again and sang two songs: then he went at a quicker step through the gates, which had been opened for him. So soon as the flag had touched the gates it was struck immediately. O that they knew how to sing the songs of Zion! how would they hang their harps upon the willows, and disdain to sing such barbarous notes. Would to God that hey had a hope of hereafter joining in the song of the redeemed in glory! Late in the evening some of them cover over to our house, but they were all Stone Indians. They came into the house just as they had arrived, their faces all painted red, yellow, and even the hair on their head not exempted. All carried some means of defence: some had guns in their hand, others had a quiver of arrows slung at their back, and a bow in their hand, and others with spears, daggers, knives, &c. They looked more like people coming to give battle than people coming for a visit. All our conversation with them was by signs. I longed to tell them something of a Saviour's love, something of their state by nature, &c.

"March 30, 1853--More arrivals of Indians, both Crees and Saulteaux. The Stone Indians who had come yesterday are coming to our house the whole of this day. It is impossible for us to do any thing. The Crees and Saulteaux, who came this day, came in the evening to see us. These we can always speak to; but the Stone Indian is a barbarian to us, and we are barbarians to him.

"March 31--The Thick-wood Crees--so named to distinguish them from the Plain Crees--having formed a considerable party, are preparing to commence their spring feasts, &c.: they have brought some of the best of their last winter's hunt for the purpose. They will be feasting and dancing for several days and nights together.

"April 1--The Indians are busy this morning putting up a large tent, where they intend to keep their feast and dance. The first feast to be kept up is in honour to the god Pahluk, for having preserved, as they believe, the Indians the whole of last winter, and given them plenty of animals of all kinds to live upon. I hear there is to be no Mittawin kept up here this spring, for what reason I have not yet learnt. Whether it is because we are here, I do not know, but it is the first spring for a long time that that ceremony is not to be kept here. Old Mahnsuk has arrived to-day from his spring hunt: he has been away nearly one month; but the river is so dangerous to cross now that we shall not be able to go and see him. The drum is going the whole of the evening, in preparation for to-morrow.

"April 2--The feast has commenced betimes this morning, and the drum has had no rest the whole of last night. The dance does not commence until there have been some long speeches put forth, and the feast over.

"April 3: Lord's-day--The Indians have been dancing and drumming the whole of yesterday and last night, and this very likely will continue for some time yet. The river is in such a condition that we are not able to go to the Fort this morning, but must hold the services of this day in our own house. The Indians are all encamped on the side of the Fort, and, on account of the river being dangerous to walk on, they do not molest us this day as they did last Sunday.

"April 4--We commenced to-day to work at the frame of our house, which we just managed to get to the spot when the thaw commenced. We are anxious to get it put up in frame before starting for Cumberland. The Indians are still carrying on their dance, and feasting: they are preparing some more places for dancing in. Their great dance, the goose dance, is not yet commenced. This dance is repeated every spring and fall, in honour to the gods for preserving the Indians.

"April 6--The weather has been so hot this day that it has melted much of the ice in the river, so that it cannot stand long now. The Indians are now at the height of the goose dance: that over, there will be several ceremonies of less importance to be performed, before the Indians are considered to be in a proper state for enjoying their summer.

"April 9--To our great satisfaction we saw the ice starting and breaking up, and likely to be going all the night.

"April 10: Lord's-day--The ice has been moving the whole of last night, but it is not yet so cleared as to admit of our going over to the Fort for the morning service as usual. When the school was over we met together in our own house, and held the services of this day ourselves alone. We hope that by the next Sunday we shall be able to cross the river with safety.

"April 12--We could see some of the Indians tents stript of their covering, nothing but the bare poles standing, which intimates that those are going away. The river is clearing away fast.

"April 14--The Indians are quiet, and some few tents of them are preparing to be off this morning. The river is so cleared now that we could get across well enough by means of a canoe, were it not for the large pile of ice on the shore on both sides of the river, which prevents our getting out on the water. The two men will soon have the frame of the house ready for putting up.

"April 18--Some of the Indians are going away this morning: they managed to get over to our house before they went off. We have put up the frame of our new house this afternoon, with the help of four men from the Fort. The house is 40 feet long by 24 wide.

"April 24: Lord's day--After our school was over we all went to the Fort, and were glad to join together once more in the worship of God. The Company's people, and our own, filled the room to overflowing.

"April 25, 2853--We commenced this morning to do something towards getting some ground ready for a small garden, where we intend to sow some garden seeds. We have to fence in the piece of ground, and hoe it up, before we can get any seed in. We had some arrival of Indians in the evening; they are all Saulteaux Indians, come to the Fort for trade.

"April 26--We are still busy at our garden. The Indians who came in last evening came over to our house to-day, asking me questions how and what I paid when purchasing some provisions from the Indians, or any then else that I took from them. I told them that trading did not concern me at all, for that was not my business: if they were inquiring after religion, and the welfare of their souls, I should be most happy to give them all the information necessary. They said that their object was to find out who paid most for provisions, &c., and to take all they had to him; but I told them that I had a very different object in view for them, and that was to teach them the care of their souls is the one thing needful. 'Ah,' said one of them 'we are not thinking about that yet: I don't think that any of the Saulteaux are thinking about that yet.' Such is the state of all the Saulteaux that I have met with in this quarter. They are the most hardened of all the Indians which we find, go where we will.

"April 30--We commenced another piece of ground for our potatos and barley; but, having no means of ploughing, we have to chop up the ground with the hoe. The Indians began, at the first commencement, to chop up the ground to help us; but they soon got tired: before the middle of the day was come some of them had to give it up, saying, 'It is very hard.' Some Saulteaux Indians arrived in the afternoon. In the evening it began to snow as thick as ever it did at any part of the winter.

"May 1: Lord's-day--It is still snowing very thick this morning, and has been snowing the whole of last night. We all went over to the Fort at the usual time, and held the morning service there with all the people of the Fort. The Indians who came in last evening attended the morning service with us. When the service was over I sat with them for an hour more, speaking of the things I had been preaching on, but apparently to no purpose. They think that their medicines will be of no avail to them if they embrace Christianity.

"May 5--A band of Indians came in this morning from our side of the river: they belong to Mahnsuk's party. His son, son-in-law, and his step-son, are with the party. Asking them how Mahnsuk was getting on, they informed me that they left him ill.

"May 6--The Indians who came in yesterday cannot get supplied until Mr. M'Gillivray's boat comes up from Cumberland, when they expect to get what they want. The weather is quite changed: it has become quite warm, and the snow is melting away fast.

"May 7--The Indians are coming and going the whole of this day into my house, so that I am not able to do any thing in the way of writing. They, however, give me an opportunity of making known to them the Saviour's love, their own condition by nature, the means of attaining the favour and mercy of God, to which they listen very attentively. Missahkakesik, the son-in-law of Mahnsuk, is a great conjuror: he pretends to have so much power, that he can, by conjuration, make any person, who is even almost dead, to be well immediately. In the evening I sowed a few beds of garden seeds.

"May 8: Lord's-day--The Sunday-school being over, we went over to the Fort for the morning service. The Company's people, with the heathen Indians, quite filled the room.

"May 10--Some more Indians arrived this afternoon, so that there will now be still more to wait for the return of the Nepowewin boat with some articles to supply them. No arrival, however, of the boat. The Indians still frequently come into my house; but oh, what ignorance they do display, and how true that 'the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of god: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned!' In the afternoon a young man arrived from old Mahnsuk's tent, to inform of Mahnsuk's continued illness. The old man wanted his son and son-in-law to go to him as fast as they could. He wanted to see them, for he was in a very low state, and expected that he was dying. The old man's son, his step-son, and son-in-law, rode off the same evening, though it was getting late, and though they did not expect to read the old man before midnight.

"May 12--The long-expected boat arrived in the afternoon, on its return from Cumberland, and brought me letters from Red River, Cumberland, and Christ Church, and some potatos and barley for our seed. The Indians are glad that the boat has come, and that they will now get their supplies.

"May 13, 1853--As the Indians have been almost all supplied, they are gradually going away, one after another. Mukkes, or the Fox, came to my house this morning, previous to his departure for the woods. I took an opportunity of speaking to him on the subject of religion, because I expected that the truths of the gospel had taken some hold on his mind. He listened very attentively to what I was saying, and said--'I have not the slightest prejudice to the religion you teach: on the contrary, I believe every word that you tell me.' 'Well, then,' I said, 'if you are persuaded that it is truth that we teach you, and if you have not the slightest prejudice to our religion, I am much surprised that you do not come forward and embrace it.' 'Well,' he replied, 'I will tell you, since you drive me to the point. If I was not afraid that I should offend the rest of the Indians, I would have embraced your religion some time ago. There are some of the old men among us who do all they can to frighten us from embracing Christianity, and say all sorts of things to prejudice our minds against the religion.' I said all I could to persuade him to take no notice of them. 'The old men,' I said, 'tell you these things for their interest, and for your destruction. They know very well that if the Indians embrace Christianity they will have no market for their medicines and conjurations, therefore they would prevent you from embracing it. But do you according to the conviction of your own mind: follow that, and do not be guided by them.' He made no reply, but appeared to be impressed by what he had heard. I have had some conversations with Mukkes, for the Fox, before now; but I think he has never left me with more conviction than he has done this time. Thank God, I have some hope for Mukkes! There are several Mukkeses among these Indians. I find that they are on the eve of becoming Christians: they only want some one to lead the way, as it were, and they are ready to follow. It is rather a bold step for them, to confess openly, before hundreds of heathen, that they renounce heathenism and embrace Christianity, when persecution is most likely to be the consequence of such a daring step. Thus some of them, on account of the obstacles in the way, are hindered from doing that which they feel persuaded it is right to do.

"May 15: Lord's-day--When the hour came, we all went over to the Fort for the morning service. Some of the Indians are still at the Fort, and were present at the morning service. After the service was ended, I had a long conversation with those who had been present. They asked me several odd questions; and among the things which they wanted to know, was, why sin was allowed to be in the world. 'How is it,' said one of them, 'that God, being so kind and merciful to man, and having all supreme power, should allow so much sin in the world? Surely the evil spirit had more power than the good Spirit, when the evil one prevailed in spreading sin all over the world. What a pity that the good Spirit had not strangled it in its first birth: if He had done so we would all have one mind, and would be following one religion.' Such is the way they argue. They do not understand how God can allow or permit sin to enter the world, though He does not will sin; and instead of asking why God permitted sin, their inquiry should be, what they as sinners must do to escape the consequences. Among other things he likewise said, 'I have been informed some time ago, before I saw you, that wherever any of the Missionaries have established a Mission among the Indians, they have always given the Indians of that place some presents for the spot of ground which they occupied; and not only for the land, but for every stick which they cut down for their own use.' I soon saw the drift of all this interested speech--that it meant no more than this, that I had come here and taken possession of their soil, used by their wood for building my houses, and did not pay them any thing for it. I told him that he was misinformed on the subject. 'Missionaries,' I said, 'going out to heathen lands, for the express purpose of doing good to the heathen, have no need to pay, nor yet have the Indians any right to expect any thing of the kind from them. And whatever the Indians may expect of a foreigner to pay for the ground belonging to the Indians, it would not be easy to get me to pay for the spot I occupy here; because I am myself a native of the soil, and claim my right and privilege to establish myself in any part of North America, without paying the natives for the soil.' I asked him what the Company had paid them for the ground they occupy. 'Nothing,' was the reply. 'Well,' I said, 'if they have been allowed to make what buildings they liked, and occupy what ground they pleased, without pay, you must never expect us to pay you.' I think that they understand the subject a little better than they did, and it will, I think, be some time before they will mention anything of the kind again.

(To be continued.)

Project Canterbury